Successful experiments for developing community-based health services often end without contributing to reform of large-scale program implementation. In Ghana, however, national implementation of community-based primary health care program policy formation and action has been grounded in a continuous process of evidence-based planning. Termed â€œembedded science,â€ health systems research is designed to foster large-scale utilization of results for policy and action. By providing insights into practical actions that can improve functioning, results from embedded research function as a component of program management rather than something that researchers are challenged to hand over to policy makers and managers at the end of a project. The Ghana example illustrates the value of embedding research into the program development process, but also the pitfalls and challenges of the embedded science paradigm.
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