South Africa becomes first middle-income country to invest in the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research
3 June 2015 | At the 2015 World Health Assembly, Precious Matsoso, Director-General of the National Department of Health of South Africa, formally announced that South Africa would make a first financial contribution to the work of the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, through the South African Medical Research Council. This investment is a signal of growing interest, among middle-income countries, of the importance and value of health systems research in building resilient health systems – the overarching theme of this year`s Assembly.
First African institute for health policy and systems research created at Ebonyi State University, Nigeria
15 May 2015 | The Alliance is pleased to share news that the Governing Council and Senate of Ebonyi State University have approved the establishment of the African Institute for Health Policy & Health Systems Studies. The creation of the new institute is the culmination of three years of work with Alliance support and encouragement. “We have permanently institutionalized health policy and health systems research in this part of the world,” said Chigozie Jesse Uneke. Uneke’s research team will serve as the management/administrative committee for the Institute.
Uncovering Evidence: Making the most of grey literature and local knowledge in health decision making
29 April 2015 | The complexity of decision-making requires inputs from a broad knowledge base that includes evidence generated from research, best practices, local evidence, as well as tacit knowledge. In the WHO Strategy on Health Policy and Systems Research, “Changing Mindsets” (2012), it was suggested that to synthesize and consolidate relevant research evidence as well as other knowledge, national repositories of evaluations, best practices, and grey literature established within countries should be created to enable greater access to existing knowledge that could improve decision-making.
Thank you and farewell to three long-serving STAC members
5 May 2015 | At the 27-28 April Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) meeting, the Alliance Secretariat and STAC conveyed a heartfelt farewell to three of its long-serving committee members – Professor Lucy Gilson (Professor of Health Policy and Systems, University of Cape Town, South Africa and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), Dr Prasanta Mahapatra (Honorary President, Institute of Health Systems, India) and Professor Soonman Kwon (Dean, School of Public Health, Seoul National University, South Korea). All three members have played a pivotal role in steering the technical priorities of Alliance work over the last six years.
The Alliance-assembled Advisory Group on Health Systems Research Synthesis have published a Commentary in Systematic Reviews. The Commentary describes the rationale for the establishment of the Advisory Group, its six areas work, and its role in advancing the field of HSR synthesis, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.
From 2-4 June, the Alliance, in collaboration with the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), hosted a data analysis workshop in Rosario, Argentina for the Improving Programme Implementation through Embedded Research (iPIER) programme. The workshop fostered the production of policy-relevant findings from seven different implementation research projects led by decision-makers in six Latin American countries.
Project NIGRAAN: Addressing structural gaps in the supervisory system of Pakistan`s Lady Health Worker Program to achieve MDG 4
Project NIGRAAN is a two-year (September 2013 – August 2015) implementation research project being conducted in district Badin in Sindh province of Pakistan. The project aims to provide the opportunity for improving structured supportive supervision of lady health workers (LHWs) by lady health supervisors (LHS) in order to reduce deaths due to pneumonia and diarrhoea in children under 5.
In November 2014, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and the Lancet launched a Twitter campaign aimed at showcasing female leadership in global health. Featured in this list of 300 nominations is the Alliance`s very-own Maryam Bigdeli, who was included among many prominent researchers, health systems leaders and decision-makers.
Although policy dialogues play a crucial role in the policy-making process, they are often understood and applied in different ways. To address the need for a comprehensive definition of the concept and how it operates the Alliance, jointly with the WHO Department of Health Systems Governance, Policy and Aid-Effectiveness, developed a briefing note to review the literature on policy dialogues and experiences in using it in health, with a particular focus on LMICs.
The 2014 External Review of the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research was carried out at the request of its Board and core donors: the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and Swedish International Cooperation Agency (Sida). External reviews are normally carried out every four years; the last one covered the period 2005-2009.