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.Read More
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.
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.Read More
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.
Image credit: Johns Hopkins University
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
- 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.
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:
- Unlocking community capabilities across health systems in low- and middle-income countries: lessons learned from research and reflective practice Asha S. George, Kerry Scott, Eric Sarriot, Barun Kanjilal and David H. Peters
- Synergies, strengths and challenges: findings on community capability from a systematic health systems research literature review Asha S. George, Kerry Scott, Vrinda Mehra and Veena Sriram
- What is the role of community capabilities for maternal health? An exploration of community capabilities as determinants to institutional deliveries in Bangladesh, India, and Uganda Ligia Paina, Lalitha Vadrevu, S. M. Manzoor Ahmed Hanifi, Joseph Akuze, Rachel Rieder, Kitty S. Chan and David H. Peters
- How is perceived community cohesion and membership in community groups associated with children’s dietary adequacy in disadvantaged communities? A case of the Indian Sundarbans Debjani Barman and Lalitha Vadrevu
- Identifying community healthcare supports for the elderly and the factors affecting their aging care model preference: evidence from three districts of Beijing Tianyang Liu, Xiaoning Hao and Zhenzhong Zhang
- Unlocking community capabilities for improving maternal and newborn health: participatory action research to improve birth preparedness, health facility access, and newborn care in rural Uganda Elizabeth Ekirapa-Kiracho, Gertrude Namazzi, Moses Tetui, Aloysius Mutebi, Peter Waiswa, Htet Oo, David H. Peters and Asha S. George
- Unlocking community capability through promotion of self-help for health: experience from Chakaria, Bangladesh Abbas Bhuiya, Syed Manzoor Ahmed Hanifi and Shahidul Hoque
- Expressing collective voices on children’s health: photovoice exploration with mothers of young children from the Indian Sundarbans Upasona Ghosh, Shibaji Bose, Rittika Bramhachari and Sabyasachi Mandal
- Exploring pathways for building trust in vaccination and strengthening health system resilience Sachiko Ozawa, Ligia Paina and Mary Qiu
- How can health systems research reach the worst-off? A conceptual exploration Bridget Pratt and Adnan A. Hyder
Throughout its two phases, FHS has undertaken research and capacity building initiatives with the aim of contributing to improved access, affordability and quality of health services for poor people.
FHS is pleased to announce a new series - Stories of Change - which shares stories that seek to demonstrate FHS’ contribution to informing processes of change at global, national and sub-national level.
You can now read our first six Stories of Change, with more on the way!
Image: Pallisa District Mentor Charles Otukor goes through the action points from a previous mentorship session with midwives at Pallisa Hospital.
Find out when and where Future Health Systems sessions are taking place during the Fourth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research (HSR2016) in Vancouver, Canada, from 14 to 18 November 2016.Read More
Identifying who various stakeholders are and engaging them in health policy and systems research and implementation is key for better understanding complex health system behavior. This webinar introduces you to a couple of tools and approaches that promote the application of systems thinking through the participatory engagement of stakeholders. In addition, our panelists will reflect on the current landscape of teaching health policy and systems research and the implications for teaching participatory engagement. Our discussion will focus on practical implications of engaging stakeholders in health policy and systems research.
Dr. Elizabeth Ekirapa, Lecturer - Department of Health Policy Planning and Management, Makerere University School of Public Health; Uganda team lead from the Future Health Systems Research Consortium (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dr. Martin Reynolds, Senior Lecturer in Systems Thinking and the Lead for postgraduate program in Systems Thinking in Practice - Department of Engineering and Innovation, The Open University (email@example.com)
Dr. David Peters, Professor - Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health; Co-facilitator of the Health Systems Global Technical Working Group on Teaching and Learning Health Policy and Systems Research; Research Director of the Future Health Systems Research Consortium (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dr. Ligia Paina, Assistant Scientist - Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health; co-lead of the complexity science and systems thinking cluster; Member of the Future Health Systems Research Consortium (email@example.com)
How to join:
Twitter Hashtag: #engagingstakeholders
The Maternal and Neonatal Implementation for Equitable Systems (MANIFEST) study was a 4-year study (2012-2015) in which FHS partner the Makerere University School of Public Health worked with the districts of Kamuli, Kibuku and Pallisa with the aim of contributing to the reduction of maternal and neonatal deaths through the use of a participatory action research approach.
To share the lessons learnt from this study, MANIFEST recently produced some new issues of their briefing series as well as a documentary, 'The Winds of Change'. The briefing papers include:
- MANIFEST Research Brief: Improving maternal and newborn health outcomes in Kamuli, Kibuku and Pallisa Districts in Eastern Uganda
- MANIFEST Issue Brief 2: Focussed Consistent Supportive Supervision Improves Management and Performance at Facility Level
- MANIFEST Issue Brief 3: Professionalizing the Cadre of Facility Health Managers
- MANIFEST Issue Brief 4: Good Practices for District Health Teams to Improve Quality of Service Delivery: Lessons from MANIFEST
- MANIFEST Issue Brief 5: Mentorship Contributes to Quality Improvement in Maternal and Newborn Care, Health Worker Motivation
- MANIFEST Issue Brief 6: Health Workers Recognition as a tool for Increasing Motivation
- MANIFEST Issue Brief 7: Using integrated strategies can help improve knowledge of maternal & newborn danger signs and service utilization
- MANIFEST Issue Brief 8: Supporting Local Saving groups improves financial management and their savings
- MANIFEST Issue Brief 9: What a highly effective VHT for maternal and newborn health looks like
The 'Winds of Change' documentary captures the views and lessons as seen in the eyes of the implementers, participants, and the evidence. Watch the full film below:
The Future Health Systems consortium came together 18-22 July for its annual meeting. The Institute for Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex hosted our research partners for a delightful, and eventful, meeting in Brighton, UK. The focus of the meeting was two-fold: to reflect and summarize work to-date on FHS and to make concrete plans for new work.Read More