Agenda Setting Processes and Policy Actors in Low-Middle Income Countries: A Case of Free Family Planning Service Policy Agenda in Ghana
Augustina Koduah, Ministry of Health, Ghana
Han VanDijk, Wageningen University
Irene Agyepong, Ghana Health Service
Ghana’s Minister of Health announced ‘free family planning service’ at the Family Planning Summit in the United Kingdom in July 2012. The announcement put free family planning on the government policy agenda. The study aimed at investigating how 'free family planning service' achieved a policy agenda status by exploring who the policy actors were and how they influenced the agenda setting processes. Additionally, it aimed to advance understanding of and contribute to knowledge of policy agenda setting processes in lower-middle income countries. A mix of qualitative case studies, historical and contemporary longitudinal data collection methods was employed in this study. Ghana’s Ministry of Health and Health Service bureaucrats; and Development Partners influenced the agenda setting processes over time to put 'free family planning service' policy on government's agenda. The agenda setting processes were shaped by the way these policy actors framed and gave meaning to reproductive and maternal health issues.