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Blog

Filtering by Category: Beijing HSR

Are informal providers a dangerous detour on the road to universal health coverage?

Future Health Systems

At the Second Global Symposium on Health Systems Research, the unifying theme was 'universal health coverage' (UHC). A commitment to achieving UHC was enshrined in the Beijing Statement, and much discussion at the symposium targeted the post-2015 agenda with one health goal. But the road to universal health coverage is long, and the devil is in the details. Human resources for health is critical in meeting the access element of universal health coverage, and working with informal providers to improve care is one way of bolstering the health workforce.
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Participatory action research for health systems

Future Health Systems

There were many methodologically focused sessions during the 2nd Sympsoium on Health Systems Research, including several focusing on more qualitative methods. Future Health Systems participated in one on participatory action research, highlighting their research in Easter Uganda to help improve mothers’ access to safe deliveries. Below are some reflections from the two FHS participants.
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Would you pee on your tomatoes? Where the HSR approach to knowledge translation is falling short

Future Health Systems

As the Policy Influence and Research Uptake Manager for the Future Health Systems research consortium, knowledge translation is central to what I do. I was very pleased to hear, then, that it was a key theme of the 2nd Global Symposium on Health Systems Research. During the symposium, I had the opportunity to participate in several related sessions, and while there were a few interesting insights, it seems to me the health systems research (HSR) approach to knowledge translation is still falling short. Here's why.
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Where have all the taxis gone? Complex Adaptive Systems in Action in Beijing

Future Health Systems

I was cold, and I was wet – having waited for a taxi home for about an hour. And despite my interest in the subject, I somehow took little solace in the fact that getting soaked was the failure of a complex adaptive system. In order to keep Beijing taxi drivers in check, local government made the drivers themselves directly responsible for the costs associated with an accident. That may help keep speeding and reckless driving to a minimum when the skys are blue(ish -- it is Beijing after all), but when it comes to driving in more difficult road conditions, when demand is at its peak, in means that taxi drivers make something of a different economic calculation and stay off the roads. Talk about unintended consequences. But the local transport system was not the only complex adaptive system (CAS) on show here in Beijing. As a PhD student who is currently grappling with understanding Uganda’s complex health workforce dynamics for my dissertation research, I was unsure what to expect to hear about complex adaptive systems (CAS) at the 2nd Global Symposium on HSR. I was fortunate to have participated in the 1st Global Symposium on HSR in Montreux in 2010, which included a handful of discussions on this topic. In Montreux, the discourse was focused on conceptualizing CAS and systems thinking, asking what it they are and why should we apply them in health systems research.

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The 2nd Symposium on HSR: As daunting as Kabul?

Future Health Systems

I’ve just arrived in Beijing, China, after a long journey from Kabul, Afghanistan. To say it’s a change of pace is an understatement. The sheer scale of the city is impressive – if a bit daunting – as is the 2nd Global Symposium on Health Systems Research, which I’m here for. I hear there are more than 1,850 participants, which sounds like a lot to me, but is but a mere drop in the ocean of Beijing. The poster session will be a first for me, though I’m lucky to have practiced such an activity in one of my epidemiology classes at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The poster presentation was the relatively easy practical element of the aforementioned epidemiology class, which just goes to reinforce a conclusion I came to a long time ago: the tougher classes are the ones that equip students best for work outside the classroom!

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Health Systems Global – why care????

Future Health Systems

As colleagues from around the world converge on Beijing, I am stuck in Washington, D.C. with the flight departure screens displaying a never-ending list of cancelled flights. Here in DC not many people are aware of the symposium in Beijing, and not many people care about Health Systems Global – or as I would prefer it to be called, the new Society for Health Systems Research. I am reminded of an email written by a friend when I wrote suggesting that he stand to be a Board member – he wrote back, saying (and I paraphrase): “Why should I care about this, I don’t think this new global society will have much impact on my country, or the things that I care about.” From a wind and rain-swept, election-obsessed DC, it is easy to feel the same. But I do care, and I am upset that I will not be there for the opening of the Symposium. Why is this?

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Emerging Voices 2012: Moses’ experiences

Future Health Systems

The 2nd Global Symposium on Health Systems Research officially kicks off today here in Beijing, but I’ve already been here for nearly two weeks participating in the Emerging Voices program. Emerging Voices is a joint venture by the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp and Peking University School of Public Health designed to build presentation skills and strengthen voices of younger health systems researchers. The program was incredibly diverse, featuring courses on issues related to health systems research and skills-building workshops on scientific presentation and scientific writing in English in addition to cultural activities in China. I was selected to participate in the venture as a young researcher from Makerere University School of Public Health in Uganda. I am a part of the wider FHS team in Uganda, where I focus on maternal and neonatal health in low-income settings like Uganda. Now that the venture is over, there are three main reflections I have on the two-week session.

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FHS at the 2nd Global Symposium on HSR: Blogging from the front lines

Future Health Systems

It may be stormy and snowy on the eastern seaboard of the United States, but in Beijing, China, the ginko leaves are starting to turn golden and it’s been a crisp couple of fall days. Members from across the FHS research consortium are gathering here this week to participate in the 2nd Global Symposium on Health Systems Research. According to their website, the symposium is ‘dedicated to evaluating progress, sharing insights and recalibrating the agenda of science to accelerate universal health coverage (UHC)’.
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