Health policy and systems research
There is growing consensus that strengthening health systems will be necessary to reach the Millennium Development Goals. It is through health systems that life-saving interventions are delivered and it is system level constraints, such as financial barriers to access, shortage of health workers in rural areas, problems of weak management and planning, which impede their wider uptake.
Beyond health, health systems are a broader social institution, with potential to contribute to poverty reduction (MDG 1) directly through protection against financial risk of illness, and indirectly as part of the broader set of institutions that generate social protection, social cohesion and resulting equity enhancement.
In the past there has only been limited investment in this field and major evidence gaps remain. In each of our three research areas we will build on previous work, extending the field of Health Policy and Systems Research by addressing current gaps in each area and across areas, and by supporting the development of research methods.
Why focus on resilient and responsive health systems?
The ideas of resilience and responsiveness are central to understanding how health systems can sustain progress towards health and health equity. Resilient health systems deliver necessary services without placing financial burden on poor households. Responsive health systems offer respectful care while at the same time recognising differences in need among population groups.
Resilient and responsive health systems require a strong foundation of fairly distributed financial and human resources; systems for managing these resources that support equitable, effective and efficient service delivery; and governance approaches that enable and sustain these actions, including by promoting system learning and accountability.
Working in Africa and Asia
We conduct our research in a variety of countries in Africa and Asia, including fragile settings, low and middle income countries, seeking to identify lessons that are transferable across contexts. We also carry out multi-country and comparative research, enabling us to identify where low-income countries can learn from the experience of middle-income country health systems.