Research-to-Policy Partnerships for Evidence-Informed Resource Allocation in Health Systems in Africa: An Example Using the Thanzi Programme



Empirical data on the impact of research-to-policy interventions are scant, with the few attempts mainly focusing on ensuring policymakers’ timely access to evidence and evidence-informed dialogs.


This article reflects on how the Thanzi Programme cultivates an approach of research-to-policy engagement in health economics. The program is structured around 3 interrelated pillars comprising research evidence generation, capacity and capability building, and research-and-policy engagement. Each pillar is described and examples from the Thanzi Programme are given, including illustrating how each pillar informs the other. Limitations and challenges of the approach are discussed, with examples of a way forward.


This program supports health system strengthening through addressing gaps identified by program partners. This includes providing health economics training and research and strengthened partnerships between in-country researchers and health policymakers, as well as between national and international researchers. Platforms bringing together researchers and policymakers to shape the research agenda, disseminate evidence, and foster an evidence-based dialog are institutionalized at country and regional levels. Health Economics and Policy Units have been established, which sit between the Ministries of Health and Universities, to augment policymakers and health economics researchers’ engagements on priority health policy matters and determine researchable policy questions. The establishment of the Health Economics Community of Practice as a substantive expert committee under the East Central and Southern Africa Health Community bolsters the contribution of health economics evidence in policy processes at the regional level.


The Thanzi Programme is an example of how a research-and-policy partnership framework is being used to support evidence-informed health resource allocation decisions in Africa. It uses a combination of high-quality multidisciplinary research, sustained research and policymakers’ engagement and capacity strengthening to use research evidence to guide and support policy makers more effectively.


Juliet Nabyonga-Orem Edward Kataika Alexandra Rollinger Helen Weatherly

Your browser is out-of-date

ISPOR recommends that you update your browser for more security, speed and the best experience on Update my browser now