Health reform requires policy capacity

Int J Health Policy Manag. 2015 Apr 17;4(5):265-6. doi: 10.15171/ijhpm.2015.85.


Among the many reasons that may limit the adoption of promising reform ideas, policy capacity is the least recognized. The concept itself is not widely understood. Although policy capacity is concerned with the gathering of information and the formulation of options for public action in the initial phases of policy consultation and development, it also touches on all stages of the policy process, from the strategic identification of a problem to the actual development of the policy, its formal adoption, its implementation, and even further, its evaluation and continuation or modification. Expertise in the form of policy advice is already widely available in and to public administrations, to well-established professional organizations like medical societies and, of course, to large private-sector organizations with commercial or financial interests in the health sector. We need more health actors to join the fray and move from their traditional position of advocacy to a fuller commitment to the development of policy capacity, with all that it entails in terms of leadership and social responsibility.

Keywords: Evidence; Health Politics; Health Reform; Leadership; Policy Capacity; Public Action.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Advisory Committees
  • Capacity Building*
  • Health Care Reform*
  • Health Care Sector
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Leadership*
  • Policy Making*
  • Private Sector
  • Public Health
  • Public Sector
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care*
  • Social Responsibility