The utilization of research evidence in Health Workforce Policies

The perspectives of Portuguese and Brazilian National Policy-Makers

I Craveiro, Virginia Alonso Hortale, Ana Paula Cavalcante de Oliveira, Mario Roberto Dal Poz, Portela, Gustavo Zoio, G Dussault

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background The production of knowledge on Human Resources for Health (HRH) issues has increased exponentially since 2000 but integration of the research in the policy-making process is often lagging. We looked at how research on HRH contributes or not to inform policy decisions and interventions affecting the health workforce in Portugal and Brazil. Methods We designed a comparative case study of semi-structured interviews with present and past national decision-makers, policy advisors and researchers. Issues explored included the existence of a national HRH policy and the use, or non-use, of research evidence by policy makers and reasons to do so. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, anonymized and analysed thematically. Results Policy-makers in Brazil recognize a greater use of evidence in the process of defining HRH policy when compared to Portugal's. But the existence of formal instruments to support policy development is not sufficient to ensure that policies are informed by evidence. Conclusions In both countries the importance of the use of evidence in the formulation of policies was recognized by policy-makers. However, the influence of other factors, such as political pressures from various lobby groups and from the media and the policy short timeframe which requires rapid responses, is predominant.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018



  • Brazil
  • Health workforce policies
  • Portugal
  • Research utilization

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