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Exploring the role of policy actors in the implementation of social distancing: a case of COVID-19 in Pakistan

Exploring the role of policy actors in the implementation of social distancing: a case of... At the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the absence of pharmaceutical agents meant that policy institutions had to intervene by providing nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). To satisfy this need, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued policy guidelines, such as NPIs, and the government of Pakistan released its own policy document that included social distancing (SD) as a containment measure. This study explores the policy actors and their role in implementing SD as an NPI in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.Design/methodology/approachThe study adopted the constructs of Normalization Process Theory (NPT) to explore the implementation of SD as a complex and novel healthcare intervention under a qualitative study design. Data were collected through document analysis and interviews, and analysed under framework analysis protocols.FindingsThe intervention actors (IAs), including healthcare providers, district management agents, and staff from other departments, were active in implementation in the local context. It was observed that healthcare providers integrated SD into their professional lives through a higher level of collective action and reflexive monitoring. However, the results suggest that more coherence and cognitive participation are required for integration.Originality/valueThis novel research offers original and exclusive scenario narratives that satisfy the recent calls of the neo-implementation paradigm, and provides suggestions for managing the implementation impediments during the pandemic. The paper fills the implementation literature gap by exploring the normalisation process and designing a contextual framework for developing countries to implement guidelines for pandemics and healthcare crises. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Public Administration and Policy Emerald Publishing

Exploring the role of policy actors in the implementation of social distancing: a case of COVID-19 in Pakistan

Exploring the role of policy actors in the implementation of social distancing: a case of COVID-19 in Pakistan

Public Administration and Policy , Volume 26 (1): 14 – May 17, 2023

Abstract

At the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the absence of pharmaceutical agents meant that policy institutions had to intervene by providing nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). To satisfy this need, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued policy guidelines, such as NPIs, and the government of Pakistan released its own policy document that included social distancing (SD) as a containment measure. This study explores the policy actors and their role in implementing SD as an NPI in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.Design/methodology/approachThe study adopted the constructs of Normalization Process Theory (NPT) to explore the implementation of SD as a complex and novel healthcare intervention under a qualitative study design. Data were collected through document analysis and interviews, and analysed under framework analysis protocols.FindingsThe intervention actors (IAs), including healthcare providers, district management agents, and staff from other departments, were active in implementation in the local context. It was observed that healthcare providers integrated SD into their professional lives through a higher level of collective action and reflexive monitoring. However, the results suggest that more coherence and cognitive participation are required for integration.Originality/valueThis novel research offers original and exclusive scenario narratives that satisfy the recent calls of the neo-implementation paradigm, and provides suggestions for managing the implementation impediments during the pandemic. The paper fills the implementation literature gap by exploring the normalisation process and designing a contextual framework for developing countries to implement guidelines for pandemics and healthcare crises.

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References (53)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Muhammad Fayyaz Nazir, Ellen Wayenberg and Shahzadah Fahed Qureshi
ISSN
1727-2645
DOI
10.1108/pap-04-2022-0033
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

At the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the absence of pharmaceutical agents meant that policy institutions had to intervene by providing nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). To satisfy this need, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued policy guidelines, such as NPIs, and the government of Pakistan released its own policy document that included social distancing (SD) as a containment measure. This study explores the policy actors and their role in implementing SD as an NPI in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.Design/methodology/approachThe study adopted the constructs of Normalization Process Theory (NPT) to explore the implementation of SD as a complex and novel healthcare intervention under a qualitative study design. Data were collected through document analysis and interviews, and analysed under framework analysis protocols.FindingsThe intervention actors (IAs), including healthcare providers, district management agents, and staff from other departments, were active in implementation in the local context. It was observed that healthcare providers integrated SD into their professional lives through a higher level of collective action and reflexive monitoring. However, the results suggest that more coherence and cognitive participation are required for integration.Originality/valueThis novel research offers original and exclusive scenario narratives that satisfy the recent calls of the neo-implementation paradigm, and provides suggestions for managing the implementation impediments during the pandemic. The paper fills the implementation literature gap by exploring the normalisation process and designing a contextual framework for developing countries to implement guidelines for pandemics and healthcare crises.

Journal

Public Administration and PolicyEmerald Publishing

Published: May 17, 2023

Keywords: COVID-19; Normalization process theory; Nonpharmaceutical interventions; Policy actors; Social distancing; Pakistan

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