The role of the Health Policy Research Group at the College of Medicine, University of Nigeria in building collective capacity for the field of HPSR in Enugu State of Nigeria
Mbachu, Chinyere Ojiugo
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BACKGROUND: Health policy and systems research and analysis (HPSR&A) is central to health systems development as it tries to draw a comprehensive picture of how the health system and broader determinants of health can shape and be shaped by policies. It consists of researchers and practitioners with different levels of knowledge, experience and expertise, and draws upon a blend of disciplines that contribute to better understanding of complex health systems. This diversity of disciplines and competence creates potential risk for lack of clarity and common understanding of HPSR&A, and reflects a need for continuous capacity development at all levels. The Health Policy Research Group (HPRG) of the College of Medicine, University of Nigeria Enugu campus (COMUNEC) has in the past thirteen years undertaken activities that aimed to contribute to building capacity for HPSR&A in Enugu state. AIM: The study examines the contributions of HPRG in building individual, institutional and regional capacity for HPSR&A in Enugu state, using the concept of Communities of Practice as an analytic lens. METHODOLOGY: This is a descriptive cross-sectional study that uses qualitative research methods to examine the contributions of HPRG’s activities in building individual, organizational and regional capacity for HPSR&A, and to explore the factors that have influenced these contributions. The study population consisted of researchers, lecturers, policymakers and practitioners who have been involved in HPSR&A projects undertaken for the past thirteen years in HPRG. Purposive sampling with sequential referral was done and only key informants who met the selection criteria were selected. Data was collected through in-depth key informant interviews and review of relevant project reports and documents, and analysed manually through thematic analysis. Rigour was ensured through reflexivity, audit trail and triangulation of data.