Second Global Symposium on Health Systems Research


Inclusion and Innovation Towards Universal Health Coverage

From 31 October to 3 November, 2012, 1,775 participants from over 110 countries gathered in Beijing, China for the Second Global Symposium on health systems research, hosted by the Peking University in collaboration with the World Health Organization's Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, TDR and Brac University and led to the “Beijing Statement from the Second Global Symposium on Health Systems Research”.

Around the theme of inclusion and innovation towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC), the Second Symposium agreed the Beijing Declaration and reviewed state-of-the art research and discussed strategies for strengthening the field of health systems research.

Over four days comprising nearly 200 program events including keynotes, plenaries, concurrent sessions, satellites, posters, films and informal discussions and debates, the following action points related to the inclusion and innovation themes were reported to have emerged:

  • The cutting edge of health systems research should be advanced by supporting analysis of politics and policy; community action interventions; fiscal innovations; equity oriented health metrics; and longitudinal methods to capture dynamism and long-term impact of interventions.
  • Symposium participants want more research on: social inequalities in health, including urbanization and ageing; social exclusion; governance; and the balance of sectors, including informal, private, and public.
  • The development of social science methodologies, health metrics and monitoring and evaluation systems in a balanced manner should be encouraged in order to appreciate the complexity of health systems, policies and implementation processes and capture their historical origins, current status and future long-term impacts.
  • Other innovations that warrant support include strengthened data surveillance systems; better documentation of financial flows at all levels; nesting research and incorporation of knowledge uptake in research design for improved monitoring and accountability, including by communities, in implementation of UHC.
  • Knowledge translation should be facilitated by developing communities of practice and trust between researchers, practitioners and policymakers; drawing from multiple sources of knowledge and evidence, including real-world experiences; strengthening open-access databases; and enhancing South-South exchange of innovations to achieve UHC.
  • Long term and public financing for public research institutions for health systems research is desired. Interest groups and partnerships should be supported for various forms of training in health systems research, that include communication, values, power relations and context analysis as capacities at all levels.