About the Alliance HPSR

What is the Alliance?

Since its inception in 1999, the Alliance’s overall goal has remained unchanged – promoting the generation and use of health policy and systems research (HPSR) as a means to improve health and health systems in developing countries. The Alliance pursues this goal by developing and harnessing existing methods and approaches to improve both the quality of research and its ultimate uptake.

Our objectives are to:

  • Stimulate the generation and synthesis of policy-relevant health systems knowledge;

  • Promote the dissemination and use of health policy and systems knowledge; and

  • Strengthen capacity for the generation, dissemination and use of health policy and systems research knowledge among researchers, policy-makers and other stakeholders.

The Alliance has historically focused on the following health systems areas:

  • Human resources for health
    This is an under-researched area in HPSR, with a need for clearer definition of research priorities and impact evaluations of policies.
  • Health financing
    As this is one of the better-researched HPSR areas, health financing provides great opportunities for knowledge synthesis and dissemination.
  • The role of the non-state sector
    This area is of particular concern to low-income and fragile states, and has become an area of major international focus.

The Alliance’s work to date on these areas has been largely through its Centres for Systematic Reviews, along with the identification of priority research questions and a priority setting exercise for each theme.

In 2010, the Alliance began working in the following area: the reliable access to affordable, appropriate and high-quality medicines. The Alliance’s Access to Medicines project works to support new research and analysis on this theme, as well as strengthening capacity and increasing demand for policy research on the subject.

For more on the specific projects within each of these four thematic areas, please visit the Alliance’s Projects page.

In November 2010 - in partnership with WHO’s Child and adolescent health and development CAH, the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases TDR and the Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction HRP - the Alliance launched the promising new Implementation Research Platform. This cross-cutting work will inform all of the Alliance’s programming, from the identification of common implementation problems to developing and testing new solutions to determining the best way to introduce those solutions into different systems.


Members and functions of the Alliance structure are described below.

Dr Abdul Ghaffar, Executive Director, Alliance HPSR

Professor John-Arne Røttingen, Chair, Board

Dr Göran Tomson

Professor Göran Tomson - Chair, STAC

To Contact Us

The Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research
20 avenue Appia,
1211 Geneva
Tel.: +41 22 791 2973
Fax: +41 22 791 4817
E-mail: alliancehpsr@who.int