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Publication Detail
USP 2001-MCH: Influencing Reproductive Health Policy and Programs in the Philippines: Implementing An Advocacy Model for Utilization of Operations Research

This project tested a model of operations research (OR) dissemination and utilization targeting program managers. The model combines capacity building with the use of innovative advocacy approaches to disseminate OR results. It consists of creating a network of policy champions who will advocate the use of OR findings through a variety of strategies after they have been provided with information on the advocacy issue and their presentation skills enhanced. The project’s objective is to promote the utilization of research for decisionmaking and program improvement. With the assistance of the Task Force on Operations Research Results Dissemination and Utilization, the project formed four policy champion teams in four regions in Mindanao, the second largest island of the Philippines. The teams were composed of representatives from the local government, Department of Health, non-governmental organizations, Commission on Population, research/academe, and media. A three-day training workshop was organized to equip the policy champions with knowledge on the selected advocacy issue (i.e., unmet need for family planning and the use of the OR-tested Community-based Management Information System to address unmet need) as well as to sharpen their presentation and advocacy skills. In the same training, the teams developed their respective advocacy plan, which they implemented during May –-June 2001. The project demonstrated that mobilizing policy champions to influence program managers to use an OR-tested tool could lead to significant program changes. Foremost of these changes are the adoption and pilot-testing of the Community-based Management Information System in selected areas in two of the four regions where CBMIS is not yet installed, and the pledge to sustain the use of CBMIS in two cities where the system is already being implemented. The project provided learning that could be useful in the conduct of a similar undertaking. Among other things, the project revealed that there is no single strategy or approach to effective advocacy, that the level of “maturity” of the OR result is an important variable in the OR advocacy and utilization equation, and that the necessary institutional support system is a critical factor in the assimilation and utilization of a research result. Considering the potential of harnessing policy champions in promoting research for programmatic action, this report recommends that the project be extended to implement the full range of advocacy activities originally drawn up in the project proposal, namely advocacy of the unmet need concept and CBMIS to policymakers, and of adolescent reproductive health to both policymakers and program managers. Completing these activities will provide a better picture of the extent to which the model of OR results dissemination and utilization being tested is able to accomplish what it was intended to do. The project can then proceed to identify mechanisms to institutionalize the process in order that reproductive health policy and programs in the country may benefit from operations research.

Collection of Studies from Other Institutions
Authors Keywords
Costello, Marilou; Masulit, Saniata; Hegazi, Sahar; population and family relation; research; reproductive health; population;
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