Evidence-informed policies can produce social and economic impacts and equity and health benefits. Interaction between researchers in politics depends on the interests of social stakeholders and favorable political environments. This paper seeks to understand the meanings and researchers’ perspectives of interaction processes between scientists and decision-makers that would influence the research impact on the health policy. This is a qualitative content analysis study conducted in 2014 to identify the core meanings and relationships between research and politics. The paper builds on the RAPID program approach of the Overseas Development Institute. Fourteen researchers who conducted maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality studies sponsored by the Health Ministry were interviewed. Researchers focused on the production of knowledge, strengthening of research capacities and dissemination of results. On some occasions, researchers also participated in the definition of clinical care policies and performance of health services. They pointed to barriers to interact and produce an impact on politics due to tensions in the political, economic and social context, as well as to institutional and organizational changes in the health sector and to the academic evaluation system.
Health research policy; Health research; Research utilization