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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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FHS Outputs – Top 12 in 2012

Future Health Systems

As the FHS consortium wraps up yet another busy year, we wanted to say thanks to all of our funders, followers and fans. We couldn’t have done it without you! 

2012 has been a remarkable year of progress for FHS. We entered the implementation phase of our current round of research, and after clearing a number of ethical reviews, things are starting to really take off.

One strand of work bears mentioning in particular – our work on health markets. With recent moves to encourage moves toward Universal Health Coverage, recognising the role that health markets play in delivering health services is critical. Highlights on health markets include a comment in Nature, two new books on the topic, and a recent meeting in Bellagio with key funders. In the new year, we look forward to continuing the discussion, especially as part of the Private Sector in Health Symposium happening in Sydney before the next iHEA World Congress. Which is as good of an opportunity as any to remind everyone that abstract submissions to participate in the symposium are due on 22 January 2013!

Beyond that, we’ve had a large number of outputs published in 2012. In case you missed them, here are the Top 12 FHS outputs of 2012, based on web views only (an imperfect measure, or course, but it’s a place start!) and limited only to items published this year (some of the top views are from previous years – talk about a long tail!).


Top 12 FHS outpust of 2012

12. Better Guidance Is Welcome, But Without Blinders: This comment in PLoS Med by David Peters and Sara Bennett cautioned HSR practitioners against the adoption of rigid approaches to the application of evidence to policy. It's the only journal article to make the list -- but given the number of articles in the pipeline for next year, we don't expect it will be in 2013.

11. Complex Adaptive Systems In Health: This presentation from David Bishai was presented to other FHS members at our partners meeting, but the modelling approach to complex systems has garnered a lot of interest from much further afield.

10. China’s Health Care Reform: Towards “Health Care For All”: This article, by FHS China partners at CNHDRC Yu Dezhi, Gu Xuefei and Wang Yunping, was originally published by our friends at the Institute for Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, but it’s timeliness in the run-up to the Beijing Symposium and the push to Universal Health Coverage has put it in our top 12 this year too.

9. Are Informal Providers A Dangerous Detour On The Road To Universal Health Coverage? This series of videos, produced in collaboration with the Center for Health Market Innovations, succeeded in marrying two key issues this year, health markets and UHC. Add your voice to the conversation!

8. The 2nd Symposium On HSR: As Daunting As Kabul? This short blog from Kojo Osei-Bonsu, who project manages the FHS Afghanistan research, added a different perspective to the proceedings in Beijing.

7. Transforming Health Markets In Asia And Africa: Improving Quality And Access For The Poor: The FHS book, edited by Gerry Bloom, David Bishai and Barun Kanjilal has been a massive effort from across the consortium. We’ve even had two successful launches for the book in Washington, D.C. in collaboration with the DC HSB and in Kolkata, India.

6. Doctoring The Village Doctors: Giving Attention Where It Is Due: This book from FHS Bangladesh gives a candid look at their first phase of FHS research and the challenges associated with trying to create a franchise of informal health providers.

5. Understanding The Policy Process: Reflections From The International Conference On Evidence-Informed Policy Making: In this blog, Kakaire Ayub Kirunda of FHS Uganda feeds back from his experience at a conference hosted by INASP on evidence-informed policymaking.

4. An Interview With Dr Kirsty Newman: Understanding Evidence-Informed Policy: And apparently, it was a really popular topic – Kakaire Ayub Kirunda also comes in at number 4 with another blog from the same conference, this time for an interview with Kirsty Newman, who is now a Research Uptake Manager at DFID.

3. Tackling Unregulated Health Markets: This news item helped us pull together our work on health markets. A version of the article appeared on the IDS webpage and was pulled through to ReliefWeb.

2. Forgetting John Snow At The Beijing HSR Symposium: Perhaps unsurprisingly, some of the most viewed content on the FHS website comes from our blogs during the Beijing HSR Symposium. This one, from Professor David Bishai of JHSPH, doesn’t pull any punches as it encouraged those at the symposium to remember the spirit of John Snow.

1. Would You Pee On Your Tomatoes? Where The HSR Approach To Knowledge Translation Is Falling Short: And the most read blog from this year comes from FHS Policy Influence and Research Uptake Manager, Jeff Knezovich. Maybe it’s the provocative title (it came out on the same day as the US election and one day before the Chinese 18th Party Congress, so he was looking for something that stood out a bit). Or maybe it was the content. Or maybe it was that it was linked to from the Beijing HSR site. Whatever the reason, Jeff assures us that there will be a follow up in the new year looking on the flip side of the coin – in other words, what the HSR approach to knowledge translation is getting right!