Introduction to the Special Issue on “Analysing the Politics of Health Policy Change in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: The HPA Fellowship Programme 2017-2019”

Document Type : Editorial


1 Health Policy and Systems Division, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

2 Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK

3 The Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland


This special issue presents a set of seven Health Policy Analysis (HPA) papers that offer new perspectives on health policy decision-making and implementation. They present primary empirical work from four countries in Asia and Africa, as well as reviews of literature about a wider range of low- and middle-income country (LMIC) experience.


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  Check the full list of "Analysing the Politics of Health Policy Change in LMICs" special issue here

  1. Ghaffar A, Gilson L, Tomson G, Viergever R, Røttingen JA. Where is the policy in health policy and systems research agenda? Bull World Health Organ. 2016;94(4):306. doi:10.2471/BLT.15.156281
  2. Mills A. Health policy and systems research: defining the terrain; identifying the methods. Health Policy Plan. 2012;27(1):1-7. doi:10.1093/heapol/czr006
  3. Gilson L, Shroff Z and Orgill M. A health policy analysis reader: The politics of policy change in low- and middle-income countries.  Published 2018.
  4. Walt G, Shiffman J, Schneider H, Murray SF, Brugha R, Gilson L. ‘Doing’ health policy analysis: methodological and conceptual reflections and challenges. Health Policy Plan. 2008;23(5):308-317. doi:10.1093/heapol/czn024
  5. Gilson L, Raphaely N. The terrain of health policy analysis in low and middle income countries: A review of published literature 1994-2007. Health Policy Plan. 2008;23(5):294-307. doi:10.1093/heapol/czn019
  6. Guinaran RC, Alupias EB, Gilson L. The practice of power by regional managers in the implementation of an indigenous peoples health policy in the Philippines. Int J Health Policy Manag. 2021; In Press. doi:10.34172/IJHPM.2020.246
  7. Ramani S, Gilson L, Sivakami M, Gawde N. Sometimes resigned, sometimes conflicted, and mostly risk averse: primary care doctors in India as street level bureaucrats. Int J Health Policy Manag. 2021; In Press. doi:10.34172/IJHPM.2020.206
  8. Gilson L, Schneider H, Orgill M. Practice and power: a review and interpretive synthesis focused on the exercise of discretionary power in policy implementation by front-line providers and managers. Health Policy Plan. 2014;29(suppl_3):iii51-iii69.
  9. Derkyi-Kwarteng, ANC, Agyepong IA, Enyimayew N, Gilson L. A Narrative synthesis review of out-of-pocket payments for health services under insurance regimes: a policy implementation gap hindering universal health coverage in sub-Saharan Africa. Int J Health Policy Manag. 2021; In Press. doi:10.34172/IJHPM.2021.38
  10. Parashar R, Gawde N, Gilson L. Application of “actor interface analysis” to examine practices of power in health policy implementation: an interpretive synthesis and guiding steps. Int J Health Policy Manag. 2021; In Press. doi:10.34172/IJHPM.2020.191
  11. Long N. Development Sociology, Actor Perspectives. Abingdon, UK: Routledge; 2001.
  12. Okeyo I, Lehmann U, Schneider H. Policy adoption and the implementation woes of the intersectoral first 1000 days of childhood initiative, in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Int J Health Policy Manag. 2021; In Press. doi:10.34172/IJHPM.2020.173
  13. Mukuru M, Kiwanuka SN, Gilson L, Shung-King M, Ssengooba F. “The actor is policy”: application of elite theory to explore actors’ interests and power underlying maternal health policies in Uganda, 2000-2015. Int J Health Policy Manag. 2021; In Press. doi:10.34172/ijhpm.2020.230
  14. Whyle EB, Olivier J. Towards an explanation of the social value of health systems: an interpretive synthesis. Int J Health Policy Manag. 2021; In Press. doi:10.34172/IJHPM.2020.159