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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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Candid talk plays critical role in fighting teenage pregnancy

Future Health Systems

According to the Uganda State of the Population Report (USPR) 2013, a 24 per cent teenage pregnancy rate among adolescents in a population of 35.4 million people should worry the Government of Uganda. In this commentary for the Daily Monitor in Uganda, Ayub Kakaire Kirunda asks: What can we do to stop the high number of teenage pregnancies in our community? 

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অপুষ্টি , অশিক্ষা , দুর্যোগ

Future Health Systems

সুন্দরবনের কথা বললেই মনে পড়ে বাঘের কথা , সুন্দরী গাছের ম্যানগ্রোভ জঙ্গলের কথা৷ তবে এই সুন্দরবনেই জলে কুমির আর ডাঙায় বাঘ নিয়ে ঘর করে প্রায় ৪ .৫ লক্ষ মানুষ৷ এক সুন্দরবনের মধ্যে আছে বহু সুন্দরবন , অর্থাত্ কলকাতার গা ঘেঁষে যে সুন্দরবন তার সঙ্গে জঙ্গলের ধারে বাস করা সুন্দরবনের মানুষের জীবনযাত্রা বা রোজকার সমস্যাগুলো কিন্ত্ত বিস্তর আলাদা৷

সম্পূর্ণ নিবন্ধ পড়ুন >>

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National Health Insurance: struggling to be born

Future Health Systems

South Africa’s bid to provide universal health care through National Health Insurance (NHI) could fail if government does not learn lessons from other countries, a conference heard last week.

More than 1,700 researchers from around the world met in Cape Town at the Third Global Symposium on Health Care Systems Research.

Local experts discussed a presentation from a three-year research programme (May 2011 to 2014) by the Health Inc consortium, based in the London School of Economics. The consortium includes the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Tata Institute of Social Science in Mumbai, the Institute of Public Health in Bangalore, the Centre for Research on Social Policies in Senegal and the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research in Ghana.

The data pointed to failures of national insurance schemes in Ghana, Senegal and India.

Health Inc’s research showed large portions of the population had been excluded from medical benefits for social, economic, political and cultural reasons.

In one province of India, where 6,000 households were eligible for the free insurance scheme, the system only delivered health care to 7.6% .

In another province 61% of 6040 households (81% of individuals) didn’t benefit from the scheme.

Particularly vulnerable to exclusion were households headed by women or the elderly and households in rural areas.

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FHS at the Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research

Future Health Systems

In just over one week, thousands of health systems researchers, policy-makers, practitioners and communicators will be descending on Cape Town, South Africa, for the Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research.

The final programme was just recently published; it's a jam-packed, if exciting, schedule! In addition to a stall in the marketplace, Future Health Systems will be participating in a number of sessions throughout the symposium. To help you to navigate this busy few days, we've put together an interactive schedule of all the FHS-organised and FHS-related sessions.

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FHS and STEPS co-host workshop on complex adaptive systems

Future Health Systems

Health systems are seen as a complex adaptive systems (CAS), with multiple actors and relationships operating in difficult and changing contexts, with many points of intervention, and numerous intended and unintended consequences that can improve or damage people’s health. Although CAS frameworks are increasingly recognized as relevant to understanding health systems, health systems researchers have to date not taken advantage of CAS research methods to inform interventions that will be effective on a large scale and in sustainable ways.

In June 2014, Future Health Systems (FHS) and the STEPS Centre (Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability) co-hosted a workshop exploring CAS approaches to health systems strengthening in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).  FHS and STEPS are particularly concerned with policies, programs, and individual level interventions promote and protect people’s health and wellbeing, particularly vulnerable and disadvantaged populations.

The workshop was designed mainly to build capacity among both consortia on specific methods for working with and understanding CAS.

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Picturing gender, ethics and health systems: A competition for photographers

Future Health Systems

The aim of this competition is to capture the everyday stories of the ways that gender plays out within health systems around the world. The winning entry will be exhibited at the Global Symposium on Health Systems Research, and be used to illustrate our website, and in other published materials with full credit to the photographer.


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Strengthening institutional health systems research capacity in Africa

Future Health Systems

Both policy-makers and academics recognize that several factors contribute to how decisions are made and what policies and practices come to bear. Of those, health systems research (HSR) has been acknowledged as a critical input in the decision making process and ultimately in improving the performance of health systems.In many contexts, the existing capacity for HSR has never been systematically documented. To address this, the Africa Hub pulled together a special series of journal articles in HARPS that share the experiences and results of HSR capacity assessments conducted across East and Central African schools of public health.

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Research in Gender and Ethics (RinGs): A new cross-RPC partnership to build stronger health systems

Future Health Systems

Gender-sensitive health policy is a feature of international commitments and consensus documents and national-level normative statements and implementation guidance in many countries. However, there are gaps in our knowledge about how gender and ethics interface with health systems. Funded by the UK Department for International Development, this exciting new initiative brings together three health systems focused Research Programme Consortia (RPC): Future Health Systems, ReBUILD and RESYST in a partnership to galvanise gender and ethics analysis in health systems.

Our approach

As the partnership is concerned with ensuring that new approaches get translated into action, we have an interest in embedded approaches; analysis that is relevant and owned by local actors. In addition, an understanding of intersectionality is central to our work. Gender intersects with other axes of inequality, such as age, ethnicity, class, poverty, geography, (dis)ability and sexuality.  Finally, in addressing power relations and social exclusion we also call attention to ethics in health systems research, policy and practice. 

What are our aims?

This partnership seeks to understand, and to encourage, a gendered approach to the study of health systems care-seeking; financing and contracting; governance; and human resources for health by:

  1. Synthesising the current evidence base. This will provide tools, case studies and guidelines on gender, ethics and health systems for researchers and decision makers and set the terms of a future research agenda.
  2.  Stimulating new research. Through small grants aimed explicitly at RPC partners and affiliates.
  3. Encouraging mutual learning and research uptake. A learning platform will support grantees, RPC members and a wider stakeholder group (policy makers, implementers and advocates) to share and support one another in defining, conducting and applying this research. Dialogue will engage with research findings and encourage its use in policy and practice.


Who is involved? Find out more

A small team is steering the direction of the project:

  • Asha George, Future Health Systems/Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
  • Sarah Ssali, ReBUILD/School of Women and Gender Studies, Makerere University
  • Sally Theobald, ReBUILD/Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
  • Sassy Molyneux, Resyst/KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme
  • Kate Hawkins, Pamoja Communications
  • Rosemary Morgan, Cross RPC /Johns Hopkins School of Public Health

Our email address is

Over time a broader group of RPC researchers will also join the projects, either as the recipients of research funding from our small grants project or as part of our learning platform. Do get in touch if you would like to learn more.