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The making of evidence-informed health policy in Cambodia: knowledge, institutions, and processes

Liverani, Marco, Chheng, Kannarath and Parkhurst, Justin (2018) The making of evidence-informed health policy in Cambodia: knowledge, institutions, and processes. BMJ Global Health, 2018 (3). e000652. ISSN 2059-7908

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Identification Number: 10.1136/ bmjgh-2017-000652


Introduction: In global health discussions, there have been widespread calls for health policy and programme implementation to be informed by the best available evidence. However, recommendations in the literature on knowledge translation are often decontextualized, with little attention to the local systems of institutions, structures, and practices which can direct the production of evidence and shape whether or how it informs health decisions. This article explores these issues in the country setting of Cambodia, where the Ministry of Health has explicitly championed the language of evidence-based approaches to policy and planning. Methods: Research for this paper combined multiple sources and material, including indepth interviews with key informants in Phnom Penh and the analysis of documentary material and publications. Data collection and analysis focused on two key domains in evidence advisory systems: domestic capacities to generate health-policy relevant evidence and institutional mechanisms to monitor, evaluate, and incorporate evidence in the policy process. Results: We identified a number of structural arrangements that may increasingly work to facilitate the supply of health-related data and information, and their use to inform policy and planning. However, other trends and features appear to be more problematic, including gaps between research and public health priorities in the country, the fragmented nature of research activities and information systems, the lack of a national policy to support and guide the production and use of evidence for health policy, and challenges to the use of evidence for inter-sectoral policy making. Conclusions: In Cambodia, as in other low- and middle-income countries, continued investments to increase the supply and quality of health data and information are needed, but greater attention should be paid to the enabling institutional environment to ensure relevance of health research products and effective knowledge management.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 the Authors
Divisions: Health Policy
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Sets: Departments > Health Policy
Date Deposited: 15 May 2018 14:16
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 03:31
Projects: 282118, ES/K009990/1
Funders: European Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council

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