Methods for studying the relationship between development of national policy on global health and global health governance: Expanding PHIR’s territory

Date: October 17, 2013
Times: 13h00 to 14h15 Eastern Time (Montréal)
Presenter: Catherine Jones
Abstract: National policies on global health (NPGH) are country-level strategies for coordinating action on global health across ministries. Studies suggest that there is a reciprocal, interdependent relationship between the national level of policy-making and global governance. Global health governance (GHG) is understood as the set of formal and informal processes through which collective action on global health is organized and carried out by a diverse range of actors[1]. Two questions informed by Real-Dato’s [2] theoretical framework of the public policy process and set within a broader theoretical perspective of reflexive governance guide my doctoral research project: 1) How does GHG contribute to the policy process for developing NPGH? 2) How are elements of policy processes for developing NPGH circulated and used globally?
The research will use a retrospective qualitative multiple case study design. Formally adopted NPGH in Norway and Switzerland in 2012 will serve as the end point for constructing the cases. Sectors that participated in the policy development process will be identified for use as a starting point to model action arenas according to country key informants. Since the study is interested in identifying elements of policy mobility — what is the substance, form and mechanism of transfer from outside the country that have flowed into and been used within the national policy development process — the boundaries of action arenas are a core concern in this research. Global key informants identified by the country key informants will then be engaged in conversations about the learnings from the policy processes for developing NPGH that have flowed out to the global level and been used by others.
Given PHIR’s interest in the context and conditions for interventions that may impact on health at the population level, the modelling of action areas in intersectoral public policy development represents a potentially interesting method for PHIR.
Objectives: In this presentation, I will introduce my proposed doctoral research project to study the interdependence of the relationship between the development of national policy on global health (NPGH) and global health governance (GHG), with a focus on the development of my methods. My learning objective for this presentation is to benefit from critique and feedback from PHIRNET peers and mentors at this early stage of my research process regarding the operationalisation of my proposal’s ideas into a rigorous methodological approach. Specifically, in the webinar I will:
  1. present the rationale for this study, define key concepts and underline the gaps in the health literature,
  2. introduce the theoretical perspectives which inform my research questions, and
  3. outline the methods proposed to answer my research questions and critically reflect on their limitations.
Methods: A literature review conducted for the development of the trainee’s research protocol will serve as the basis for this presentation.
Questions regarding the study’s relevance for PHIR:
  1. Why is the study of policy-making important for PHIR?
  2. What are the levels of processes with which PHIR is concerned and how can one distinguish them?
  3. What are the benefits and challenges of interdisciplinary perspectives in PHIR projects?
  1. McInnes, C. and K. Lee, Global health & international relations. 2012, Cambridge: Polity. 205 p.
  2. Real-Dato, J., Mechanisms of Policy Change: A Proposal for a Synthetic Explanatory Framework. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, 2009. 11(1): p. 117-143.