How Do Countries Use Resource Tracking Data to Inform Policy Change: Shining Light into the Black Box

Resource Type: Journal Article
Authors:  Karishmah Bhuwanee, Heather Cogswell & Tesfaye Ashagari
Published: February 21, 2017

Resource Description: Resource tracking exercises produce data that can be used to inform decisions about health policy issues such as mobilizing resources, pooling resources to minimize risk, and allocating resources for health. However, the factors that help countries evolve from merely producing resource tracking data to using it for decision making have been hard to specify. Countries often produce data that remain unused, and key health policy decisions are made without using available data. We develop a framework highlighting the factors that contribute to the use of resource tracking data for more informed policy decisions. Analyzing experience across 16 countries, we identify (1) characteristics of and actions taken by local country resource tracking teams that facilitated data use and (2) circumstances that were outside of teams’ control but also influenced data use. We find that (1) clear definition of policy questions, (2) production of high-quality data, and (3) effective dissemination of resource tracking results are observed in countries that have successfully used resource tracking data in making tangible policy changes.

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