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This study assessed the individual and institutional capacity gaps in both the Malawi Ministry of Health and the Parliament of Malawi as part of a wider programme to improve evidence use in decision-making for health.

The assessment revealed that both top- and mid-level policymakers in Malawi recognise the importance of using evidence in decision-making. However, the actual application of evidence and data is curtailed by several challenges and constraints, including:

·         Poor quality of the available evidence

·         Staff lacking technical skills to summarise research into clear policy messages

·         Weak institutional linkages with research institutions

The policymakers who participated in the assessment recommended the following to address the challenges and constraints:

·         Putting in place a policymakers and researcher pairing scheme

·         Developing guidelines on sourcing, appraising, synthesising and using evidence

·         Strengthening linkages with research organisations

The authors noted that as a participatory approach was used, with the assessment informing the work plan of the Research Unit in the Ministry of Health, the implementation of the findings is more likely to be successful.

To read more, please follow this link to download the full report.

If you use the information detailed in the report, please cite as follows:

Malawi Ministry of Health and SECURE Health Consortium (2014) An Assessment of Capacity Needs for Application of Research Evidence in Decision-Making in the Health Sector in Malawi. AFIDEP.

AFIDEP: The African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) is an international non-profit policy think tank with the mission to translate and enable utilisation of research evidence in policy-making. To find out more about the work of AFIDEP, please follow this link