An Assessment of National Maternal and Child Health Policy-Makers’ Knowledge and Capacity for Evidence-Informed Policy-Making in Nigeria

Document Type : Original Article


1 Knowledge Translation Platform, African Institute for Health Policy and Health Systems Studies, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Nigeria

2 Organisation Ouest Africaine de la Santé, Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso

3 Hopital Central Yaounde, Yaoundé, Cameroon


There is increasing interest globally in the use of more rigorous processes to ensure that maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) care recommendations are informed by the best available research evidence use. The purpose of this study was to engage Nigerian MNCH policy-makers and other stakeholders to consider issues around research to policy and practice interface and to assess their existing knowledge and capacity on the use of research evidence for policy-making and practice.
The study design is a cross-sectional evaluation of MNCH stakeholders’ knowledge as it pertains different dimensions of research to practice. This was undertaken during a national MNCH stakeholders’ engagement event convened under the auspices of the West African Health Organization (WAHO) and the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) in Abuja, Nigeria. A questionnaire was administered to participants, which was designed to assess participants’ knowledge, capacity and organizational process of generation, synthesis and utilization of research evidence in policy-making regarding MNCH.
A total of 40 participants signed the informed consent form and completed the questionnaire. The mean ratings (MNRs) of participants’ knowledge of electronic databases and capacity to identify and obtain relevant research evidence from electronic databases ranged from 3.62-3.68 on the scale of 5. The MNRs of participants’ level of understanding of a policy brief, a policy dialogue and the role of researchers in policy-making ranged from 3.50-3.86. The MNRs of participants’ level of understanding of evidence in policy-making context, types and sources of evidence, capacity to identify, select, adapt, and transform relevant evidence into policy ranged from 3.63-4.08. The MNRs of the participants’ organization’s capacity to cover their geographical areas of operation were generally low ranging from 3.32-3.38 in terms of manpower, logistics, facilities, and external support. The lowest MNR of 2.66 was recorded in funding.
The outcomes of this study suggest that a stakeholders’ engagement event can serve as an important platform to assess policy-makers’ knowledge and capacity for evidence-informed policy-making and for the promotion of evidence use in the policy process.


Main Subjects

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  • Receive Date: 21 May 2016
  • Revise Date: 22 September 2016
  • Accept Date: 25 September 2016
  • First Publish Date: 01 June 2017