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News

Future Health Systems is a research consortium working to improve access, affordability and quality of health services for the poor. We are a partnership of leading research institutes from across the globe working in a variety of contexts: in low-income countries (Bangladesh, Uganda), middle-income countries (China, India) and fragile states (Afghanistan) to build resilient health systems for the future. After a successful first five-year phase from 2006-2011 (see our success stories), we are entering a new six-year phase of research, funded mainly by UK aid.

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Researching strategies to empower communities to strengthen local health service accountability

Future Health Systems

Future Health Systems research in Bangladesh and Uganda is assessing how community empowerment strategies can affect service delivery and community capabilities. In Uganda, FHS partner, Makerere University School of Public Health, has partnered with Kibuku District in Eastern Uganda to develop and test a community and facility score card for maternal and newborn health service delivery. The feasibility study aims at identifying facilitators, barriers and factors that could influence implementation, institutionalization and scale-up of community and facility score cards in Uganda.

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White Paper: Public health performance strengthening at districts

Future Health Systems

From 21-25 November 2016, 20 public health experts, including FHS researcher David Bishai from Johns Hopkins University, met in Bellagio, Italy to develop a way forward to assist countries strengthen public health practice as a way to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. You can find out more about it in our news item about the meeting.

The proceedings from the conference are documented in this recently published White Paper, titled 'Public Health Performance Strengthening at Districts: Rationale and Blueprint for Action'. This white paper provides guidance on strengething public health practice, and can be used by public health agencies, ministries, development partners, and practitioners.


Image credit: Johns Hopkins University

Health Systems Research Ethics: Special Issue Webinar

Future Health Systems

Webinar: "Health Systems Research Ethics: Special Issue Webinar"

When: 05/30/2017 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Host: Professor Adnan Hyder (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health)

Health systems research ethics is a relatively new and emerging field, with numerous normative and descriptive questions that have largely not been considered. It has been argued that the ethical issues arising in health systems research projects may be unique or nuanced relative to biomedical research.

To further build the field of health systems research ethics and promote scholarship in this area, a special issue of Developing World Bioethics was devoted to it in 2016. This webinar brings together the authors (including some FHS Researchers) of four papers published in that special issue (Sassy Molyneux, Bridget Pratt, Hayley MacGregor, Gerry Bloom, and Abbas Rattani) as well as one of its co-editors (Adnan Hyder) to share their findings and work.

The webinar is one hour and will consist of an introduction, 4 short presentations by the authors discussing their papers, followed by a Q&A with the authors and a broader discussion on the ethics of health systems research moderated by Joe Ali (Berman Institute of Bioethics).

Presenters:

  1. Introduction: Professor Adnan Hyder, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and Bloomberg School of Public Health; Guest Editor of Special Issue
  2. Health Systems Research Consortia and the Promotion of Health Equity in Low and Middle-Income Countries, Bridget Pratt, University of Melbourne (Australia)
  3. Health Systems Research in a Complex and Rapidly Changing Context: Ethical Implications of Major Health Systems Change at Scale, Hayley MacGregor, Institute of Development Studies (UK)
  4. Research Involving Health Providers and Managers: Ethical Issues Faced by Researchers Conducting Diverse Health Policy and Systems Research in Kenya, Sassy Molyneux, KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme (Kenya)
  5. What Makes Health Systems Research in Developing Countries Ethical? Application of the Emanuel Framework for Clinical Research to Health Systems Research, Abbas Rattani, Meharry Medical College (USA)

To join the webinar: https://connect.johnshopkins.edu/hsr2017/

Please RSVP: https://goo.gl/forms/Kfwj7NX9vm8myZvz1

Symposium on Health Financing for Universal Health Coverage in Low and Middle Income Countries

Future Health Systems

Makerere University School of Public Health under the stewardship of the SPEED Project is pleased to announce the Symposium on Health Financing for Universal Health Coverage in Low and Middle Income Countries, which will be taking place in Kampala, Uganda from 16 - 18 August, 2017.

The theme of the Symposium is 'Financing for Universal Health Coverage More money for health AND more health for the money', with the folloowing sub-themes:

  • Ensuring financial risk protection using public funds
  • Risk sharing and pooling of funds through insurance
  • Leveraging health benefits from investment in other sectors
  • Strategic purchasing and results based financing
  • Global health initiatives and innovative financing approaches

Deadline for Early Bird abstract submissions is 14 May, 2017, and Late Breaker Submissions are due 27 May, 2017. Registration opens on 15 May, 2017. For further information, please visit the Symposium website.

Social relationships are at the heart of knowledge for development

Future Health Systems

In a so-called 'post-truth' world, where experts are viewed with increasing suspicion, how do academics, practitioners and donors work together to ensure evidence informs policies and practices that have a transformative impact on people’s lives and contribute to global efforts to reduce poverty? These issues are discussed by leading social scientists, NGOs, donors and policymakers from around the globe in The Social Realities of Knowledge for Development, an edited collection of articles, launched at a [high profile event convened by Institute of Development Studies, Overseas Development Institute and IIED.

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Bangladesh: Delivering for Success at Scale

Future Health Systems

Delivering for Success at Scale - a two day conference from 7 to 8 February 2017 at the BRAC Auditorium, Mohakhali, Dhaka, Bangladesh - will build on the longstanding partnership between BRAC, ICDDR,B and the Institute of Development Studies to explore the role of knowledge in the conceptualisation, design, delivery and management of development programmes and policies. 

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Strengthening public health practice to achieve the SDGs

Future Health Systems

From 21-25 November 2016, 20 public health experts, including FHS researcher David Bishai from Johns Hopkins University, met in Bellagio, Italy to develop a way forward to assist countries strengthen public health practice as a way to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The conference was supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, and the Future Health Systems consortium.

This meeting aimed to help Ministries of Health, NGOs, and development partners around the world put into practice the World Health Assembly Resolution 69.1 which was unanimously agreed to in May 2016. This resolution calls for Member States and international organisations to work on ways to improve performance of Essential Public Health Functions at national, state and local level.

The meeting developed case studies, tools and instruments and updated performance measurement approaches to align with a continuous quality improvement approach that emphasizes empowering local communities to act on health problems. The meeting shared best practices and protocols for supportive supervision to sustain highly effective public health practice in health systems.

The participants have also produced a YouTube playlist of lectures and a curated library of documentation of practical experience, checklists, and measurement methods, which you can view below.

Meeting attendees included representatives from institutions such as the WHO Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), USAID, International Association of National Public Health Institutes, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (FioCruz), and Makerere University. Officials from Ministries of Health of Mozambique, India, Sri Lanka, and Qatar also attended. 

A White Paper offering a blueprint for use by public health agencies, ministries, development partners, and practitioners with guidance on strengthening public health practice will be released shortly. 

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Image credit: Johns Hopkins University

Event: Social Accountability from Health Systems Strengthening to the SDGs

Future Health Systems

Social accountability has received increasing attention in both health and other sectors of development through increasingly rigorous evaluations, case studies, review of the evidence, and calls to action. The evidence so far is mixed, but also complex to establish and interpret.

With a relative abundance of tools and approaches around, what have we learned about not just ‘what works’ in social accountability but what it takes for it to work, and how much it can accomplish in terms of performance of and equity in the health system?

The DC Health Systems Board is holding a meeting on February 8, 2017 from 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM EST in Washington DC, to bring together notable contributors to the field who will present what we know about both the potential and the requirements of social accountability efforts, including for health systems strengthening. We will then look across other sectors and engage participants in a dialogue about how to move forward meaningfully.

Welcome: Robert Clay, Director of the Department of Global Health, Save the Children

Speakers:

  • Jonathan Fox, American University
  • Lara Ho, International Rescue Committee
  • Abhijit Das, COPASAH
  • Anna Wetterberg, RTI
  • Helen Mwale, Save the Children Malawi

Moderator: Eric Sarriot, Save the Children

Please note: A video recording of the meeting and slideset will be made available after the event, and will be shared here and on the DC HSB website.

Find out more and register here

BMC Health Services Research publishes supplement on UCC

Future Health Systems

Communities are more than a geographic location; they are a site of struggle and also a dynamic engine of change. Unlocking their capabilities to strengthen health systems requires understanding and adapting to local context, engaging a diversity of actors and working with the productive tensions inherent to collective action.

BMC Health Services Research has recently published a Supplement on Unlocking community capabilities across health systems across low and middle income countries - edited by Asha S. George, Kerry Scott, Eric Sarriot, Barun Kanjilal and David H. Peters. This supplement draws on extensive Future Health Systems research and experience in unlocking community capabilities to strengthen health systems in low- and middle-income countries.

Articles in the suplpement inlcude: