Enhancing health policymakers’ information literacy capacity for policymaking on control of infectious diseases of poverty in Nigeria
Background: In Nigeria, one of the major challenges associated with evidence-to-policy link in the control of infectious diseases of poverty (IDP), is the deficient information literacy capacity among policymakers. There is need for policymakers to develop capacity to discover relevant information, accurately evaluate retrieved information and to apply it correctly.
Objectives: To use information literacy tool of International Network for Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) to enhance policymakers’ capacity for policymaking on control of IDP in Nigeria.
Methods: Modified “before and after” intervention study design was used in which outcomes were measured on target participants both before the intervention is implemented and after. This study was conducted in Ebonyi State, south-eastern Nigeria and participants were career health policy makers. A two-day health-policy information literacy training workshop was organized to enhance participants’ information literacy capacity. Topics covered included: introduction to information literacy; defining information problem; searching for information online; evaluating information; science information; knowledge sharing interviews; and training skills.
Results: A total of 52 policymakers attended the workshop. The pre-workshop mean of knowledge and capacity for information literacy ranged from 2.15-2.97, while the post-workshop mean ranged from 3.34-3.64 on 4point scale. The percentage increase in mean of knowledge and capacity at the end of the workshop ranged from 22.6%-55.3%.
Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that through information literacy training workshop policy makers can acquire the capacity to identify, capture and share the right kind of information in the right contexts to influence relevant action or a policy decision.
Key Words: Policymakers, information literacy, capacity, infectious diseases of poverty, workshop