Abstract

Among the many barriers to evidence use in decision-making, weak capacity for evidence use has attracted a lot of focus in the last decade. The study aims to inform and enrich ongoing and future efforts to strengthen capacity for evidence use by presenting and discussing the experiences and lessons of a project implemented in Kenya and Malawi to strengthen individual and institutional capacity for evidence use within the ministries of health (MoHs).

This paper discusses our experiences and lessons from the Strengthening Capacity for Evidence Use in Health Policy (SECURE Health) project implemented in Kenya and Malawi to strengthen capacity for evidence use within the ministries of health (MoHs). The intervention implemented simultaneous activities to build technical skills at the individual level, strengthen institutional policies and structures that enable evidence use, and cultivate a supportive political environment for enabling increased demand and use of evidence in health policy-making in Kenya and Malawi. This paper discusses fresh, context-specific lessons and insights in strengthening institutional and individual capacities in government agencies for evidence use in Kenya and Malawi. In this way, the paper enriches the emerging literature on strengthening institutions for evidence use. Although the intervention focused on both MoHs and parliaments, this paper focuses only on the experiences and lessons from the MoHs in the two countries.

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