Health Policy Monitor
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Half-yearly surveys

In each survey covering six months, partner institutions provided information on the progress of a health policy idea, approach or instrument from the early stage of inception towards implementation over time.

For every six-month-period, our experts described five or more key health policy developments selected according to the criteria mentioned below. We were interested in comparing the background/context of a key health policy issue, its players/process interactions, and, - with a view to implementation - its potential impact.

Reporting criteria

Four criteria were determined to select and describe a health policy development in any half-yearly survey:

  • relevance and scope: impact on the status quo of a health care system (legal, financial and organizational framework, entitlements)
  • degree of innovation (idea or policy held against national and international standards),
  • media coverage / public attention / visibility
  • transferability of approach (to determine the extent to which a policy depends on a particular health care system)

For the final rating of a policy, we also looked at the policy process: Was it consensual, or was it highly controversial? While the first survey can only throw a spotlight at these characteristics, over time we were able to relate health policy themes with political interactions. The aim was to facilitate in-depth analyses of the policy making process as such. The HealthPolicyMonitor enabled us to answer questions about the association or relationship between positions, priorities and influences of actors toward a policy on one side, and the outcome of a health policy idea or piece of reform on the other: Which types of negotiation and what incentives or trade-offs are relevant for success, failure or abolition of a reform?

The questionnaire

The questionnaire that was to be filled out for each of the selected health policy developments started with a two-dimensional matrix, picturing key health policy issues (15 categories) and their development over time (7 process stages).

For each of the selected health policy issues, partners provided a more detailed analysis of stakeholders and their interests and interactions - along the stages of the policy making process. The matrix allowed capturing both the issue addressed and the current stage of the process from inception to abolition.

Some ideas evolved very fast from one stage to the next, whereas others did not necessarily follow the process step-by-step, "surfacing" in at stage 2 and/or "jumping" across various stages during the period observed.
A glossary with explanations of all terms used - definitions of health policy issues, criteria for selection and subsequent rating by the expert partners, process stages and main actors - is included in a help pop-up window.