Translating knowledge into policy and action to promote health equity: The Health Equity Fund policy process in Cambodia 2000-2008

Health Policy. 2010 Aug;96(3):200-9. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2010.02.003. Epub 2010 Mar 1.


Objectives: To understand how knowledge is used to inform policy on Health Equity Funds (HEFs) in Cambodia; and to draw lessons for translating knowledge into health policies that promote equity.

Methods: We used a knowledge translation framework to analyse the HEF policy process between 2000 and 2008. The analysis was based on data from document analysis, key informant interviews and authors' observations.

Results: The HEF policy-making process in Cambodia was both innovative and incremental. Insights from pilot projects were gradually translated into national health policy. The uptake of HEF in health policy was determined by three important factors: a policy context conducive to the creation, dissemination and adoption of lessons gained in HEF pilots; the credibility and timeliness of HEF knowledge generated from pilot projects; and strong commitment, relationships and networks among actors.

Conclusions: Knowledge locally generated through pilot projects is crucial for innovative health policy. It can help adapt blueprints and best practices to a local context and creates ownership. While international organisations and donors can take a leading role in innovative interventions in low-income countries, the involvement of government policy makers is necessary for their scaling-up.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cambodia
  • Health Care Sector
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Policy
  • Health Services / economics*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Pilot Projects
  • Policy Making*
  • Public Health / economics
  • Retrospective Studies