The First Health Systems Research Conference - my expectations: Less lecturing, more listening, but is it happening? So far there have been limited voices from low income countries. Shall we be heard or it is another opportunity to listen, and be told of dos and don'ts? In Uganda, the operational units are health units, hospitals, health sub districts and districts. Have I heard anybody speak of how to make them more functional within a limited resource base? No, but I am waiting!!! Of course there is talk of funding for health systems, and this should be a focus of donors. I say, no, this should be what we demand from our governments. There is talk of technology, etc. Well, small simple things first for me: sanitation, housing, education, food, immunisation, and simple preventive knowledge. Okay, I am still here till end of week, to learn about health systems research. I will wait and see if, as I leave, I will know how to deliver services to the poorest in the remotest parts of my home district, or indeed how to measure health systems. Time will tell. But give people a voice, the people who live in the systems that we are trying to study.