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Policy influence and research uptake

Policy Influence and Research Uptake (PIRU)

The Future Health Systems RPC recognizes that the research we undertake is relevant to policy and practice at both the national level within the countries where we operate but will also have broader implications for the way developing countries approach health systems development. Simply making research available is not sufficient to generate uptake.

PIRU Principles

During the inception phase, we have developed a broad framework for our policy influence and research uptake (PIRU) activities that is founded upon the following principles:

  • Country driven: Echoing the organization of the overall RPC, the PIRU Strategy is designed at the country level with emergent international or global engagement focused mainly around cross-cutting themes.
  • Two-way process: Although policy influence and research uptake implies an outward push of information, this consortium views this as a two-way process of engagement designed to stimulate both demand for our research but also research that is more responsive to end-users’ needs.
  • Objective led: Instead of starting from an output and looking to disseminate it, PIRU activities and outputs will follow from strategic objectives, which may mean using a variety of appropriate channels and approaches for the objective and the target audience. These objectives will tie into the broader ‘theory of change’ for each of the countries and for international/cross-cutting engagement.
  • Embedded in the research process: PIRU processes are not standalone. PIRU processes must work hand-in-hand during the research design to agree objectives and ensure appropriate research and research outputs to meet them.
  • 'Being there': Where possible, instead of creating new communication channels and activities, the consortium will employ a ‘being there’ approach of accessing and using existing channels.
  • Accessible: Where possible the consortium will pursue communication routes that are as accessible to as many people as possible. This includes targeting open access publishing options that break down financial barriers to access as well as using technology to reduce geographic barriers to access.
  • Operating in complex environments: Policymaking itself is a complex process, and trying to influence those processes require complex – not simple or even complicated – solutions. We will adopt an iterative scoping, testing and learning approach guided by core objectives.
  • Reflective and adaptive: PIRU activities in each country and at an international scale will adopt a ‘learning by doing’ approach that relies on systematic monitoring to adapt approaches to context.
  • Internal and external: In order to engage external audiences, there must first be strong internal communication, especially as it is a consortium comprised of many partners. The PIRU strategy will therefore look to ensure effective knowledge management and sharing.

Core objectives

  1. Key stakeholders in focal countries are engaged in FHS research and findings from FHS inform their ‘policy’ decisions.
  2. International and regional, policy- and decision-makers engage with FHS research through appropriate mechanisms and use FHS findings to inform their decision-making process.
  3. High quality FHS outputs and activities inform academic debates on health service delivery issues and the poor.
  4. Internal communications among consortium partners is strengthened to allow for a better flow of information from internal to external audiences, and from the country to international levels (and vice versa).
  5. Effective monitoring, evaluation and learning processes are established to help consortium members adapt to dynamic and complex systems and to support learning-by-doing processes to improve interventions.
  6. Sustainable capacity for knowledge translation, internal communication and policy engagement is strengthened in focal countries.

Organization and management

The policy influence and research uptake (PIRU) activities for the programme are managed by Tom Barker based at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) in collaboration with FHS PIRU group members from partner countries.

Country PIRU team members include:

  • FHS Bangladesh: Aazia Hossain
  • FHS China: Lang Jing Jing
  • FHS India: Shibaji Bose
  • FHS Uganda: Kakaire Ayub Kirunda
  • FHS Sierra Leone: Ibrahim Bun Kamara