Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Health Information Science


Health Information Science


Anita Kothari


Nonprofit organizations play a crucial role in lobbying governments for policy changes besides engaging in direct service delivery. Improved utilization of research and other evidence in health policy and practice will help save lives and improve quality of life. This case study of WashOrg International in East Africa was informed by two major questions 1) how is evidence on water, sanitation and hygiene being used by non-profit organizations to shape policy advocacy activities 2) what kinds of internal capacity exist in WashOrg International to use water, sanitation and hygiene evidence to inform policy advocacy? Data were collected through semi-structured interviews, during which participants also answered a survey about their departments’ ability to access, assess, adopt and apply research findings. The framework generated from this study describes the evidence –oriented strategies used to influence policy. These evidence oriented strategies include a) participatory knowledge generation) bottom-up approach to knowledge generation and use; c) relinquishing power over evidence; and d) building insider relations with policy makers. The results suggested that these strategies can inform and improve practice of non-profit organizations, researchers and other practitioners.