World Report on Health Policy and Systems Research

26 April 2017

On 25 April 2017, The Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research launched the first World Report on HPSR at a special meeting in Stockholm commemorating the 20th anniversary of the inception of the Alliance.

Lucy Gilson, research co-director for RESYST, contributed to the second chapter which provides a series of empirical analyses reflecting on the evolution and current state of HPSR.

The field of HPSR has matured a great deal over the past 20 years. The World Report on HPSR describes the evolution of the field over this time and provides figures on the number of publications produced, funding trends and institutional capacity in LMICs to conduct HPSR. It also highlights how the multidisciplinary and systems approach used in HPSR can help countries advance the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) agenda.

In the SDG era, where tackling inequity is central, the report calls upon donors and ministries of health to:

  • Increase international and domestic funding for HPSR;

  • Establish mechanisms for improved networking among low-income country researchers;

  • Connect researchers and policy-makers so that the knowledge generated is demand-driven and used in decision-making.

"Implicit in the design of the SDGs is the recognition of the complexity and interconnectedness of global challenges across sectors…HPSR is well-positioned to rise to the challenges presented by the SDGs. The field has been testing models of multidisciplinary collaboration and embedded research and can share lessons learned with the broader health research community"  Chapter 4: Future

The report presents a clear argument that HPSR still needs to be more widely embraced by the broader health research community and national policy makers.

“At a minimum, this will require a paradigm shift in the use of HPSR to guide policy and programmes and a phase shift in the quantity and quality of HPSR produced.” Chapter 5: Next big leap