Health Policy and Planning launch a new supplement on strengthening health system leadership for better governance

09 July 2018

Health system leadership is a critical but overlooked lever for health system development: strong and committed leadership can empower staff to overcome challenges and have positive effects on the performance of health services.

This new supplement, published by Health Policy and Planning, offers new evidence on public hospital leadership and management from South Africa, Ghana and Kenya as well as fresh insights into health leadership development needs and approaches of relevance to LMICs more generally. 

The authors in the supplement argue that the status quo of authoritarian, hierarchical leadership must be disrupted. Instead, new forms of leadership are required that encourage teamwork and relationships, enable staff to tackle problems collectively and spread motivation and positive staff attitudes.

The opening editorial, written by RESYST's co-research director Lucy Gilson: Strengthening health system leadership for better governance: what does it take? provides an overview of the six papers included in the special supplement and draws out the key lessons for health leadership in Africa. 

Another paper in the series from RESYST researcher, Susan Cleary, explores the theme of relational leadership in her paper Enabling relational leadership in primary healthcare settings: lessons from the DIALHS collaboration. RESYST have produced a complimentary policy brief, based on this paper, which lays out clear recommendations for health managers and policy makers.

In addition, Health Policy and Planning have published other related outputs that provide a discussion point for the themes raised in the supplement. These include:

  • A blog written by Lucy Gilson which presents the key lessons to be learnt from the supplement
  • A podcast debate with authors from the paper including Susan Cleary and a health manager that she worked with during the research in Cape Town.