Evidence from systematic reviews to inform decision making regarding financing mechanisms that improve access to health services for poor people

    Publication year: 2006

    Without evidence-informed action, health-related Millennium Development Goals as well as those of individual nations are unlikely to be achieved. Health policies are influenced by a variety of factors – values and beliefs, stakeholder power, institutional constraints, and donor funding flows, among others – and research evidence needs to be one of the critical factors taken into account. In contexts where resources are most scarce, it is arguably even more important that research evidence informs policy-making in order to ensure the wise use of limited resources . Unfortunately, evidence-informed action is rare. Research evidence is lacking for a number of policy questions and impact evaluations still need to be a more integral part of policy implementation. Where research evidence exists for policy questions, it is not always in a form that it is easy for policy-makers and stakeholders (including civil society groups) to acquire, assess or use. Research evidence may be scattered across numerous reports and articles, or difficult to assess in terms of its quality. It may also have been conducted in contexts which may not be similar to other country contexts and local conditions. Or it may have addressed only specific questions (such as the effects of different policy options) rather than other, perhaps more urgent ones, such as how to implement preferred options. The purpose of IDEAHealth is to improve the ap