Eliciting Policymakers' and Stakeholders' Opinions to Help Shape Health System Research Priorities in the Middle East and North Africa Region

El-Jardali et al. (2010) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

health system

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Africa - Algeria; Africa - Egypt; Africa - Morocco; Africa - Tunisia; Asia - Jordan; Asia - Lebanon; Asia - Palestine; Asia - Syria; Asia - Yemen

Why was it conducted at all?

Evidence-informed decisions can strengthen health systems. Literature suggests that engaging policymakers and other stakeholders in research priority-setting exercises increases the likelihood of the utilization of research evidence by policymakers. To our knowledge, there has been no previous priority-setting exercise in health policy and systems research in countries of the Middle East and north Africa (MENA) region.

What was the objective?

to identify regional policy concerns and research priorities related to health financing, human resources and the non state sector, based on stakeholders in nine low and middle income countries of the Middle East and North Africa region

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 15 research topics

How long did the research prioritization take?

No information provided.

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?

focus group; interview; workshop

How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: literature review. Step 2: interviews and focus groups: 23 focus groups (152 participants) and 54 key informant interviews were held, participants were asked about research priorities. Step 3: data processing: content analysis. Step 4: workshop: to validate the common list of policy concerns and research priorities related to three thematic areas that emerged, participants were asked to rate the research priorities (for 3-5 years) within the three themes, all research priorities exceeding 50% agreement on 'very important' were then ranked

Which stakeholders took part?

Senior and middle level policymakers from the public sector, representatives from professional associations who are active in trying to shape and influence health policies, researchers who are active in the realm of health systems research and/representatives from university departments and faculties that produce health systems research, representatives of the non-state sector who are active in trying to shape and influence health policies. Focus groups: 152 focus groups. Interviews: 54 participants. Workshop: 26 participants: 8 policymakers, 13 researchers and 5 representatives of the non-state sector.

How were stakeholders recruited?

Key informants were purposively selected. Criteria were: Senior and middle level policymakers from the public sector; Representatives from professional associations who are active in trying to shape and influence health policies; Researchers who are active in the realm of health systems research and/representatives from university departments and faculties that produce health systems research; Representatives of the non-state sector who are active in trying to shape and influence health policies.

Were stakeholders actively involved or did they just participate?

Stakeholders were mere participants of the research prioritization process; they were not actively involved in the process.