Although effective health technologies often exist, they do not always meet their full potential in improving the health of populations across the world because of ‘non-medical’ health system issues, such as non-availability of skilled health workers; ineffective mechanisms for procurement and delivery of medicines, vaccines and supplies; lack of money and resources; and inadequate management systems. Countries with similar levels of economic development can have substantially different levels of health because of issues and bottlenecks within the health system. Research on health systems can thus provide insights and guidance for interventions to strengthen health systems and make them perform better.

The Technopolis UK health team recently reviewed the Health Systems Research Initiative (HSRI), a programme that aims to generate world-class and cutting-edge research that addresses key questions on strengthening and improving health systems in low- and middle-income countries. The study team reviewed the programme’s design, projects and results and presented recommendations for future funding calls.

Our results show that the HSRI scheme has provided a valuable funding resource in a relatively neglected field and that the research is starting to deliver impact. For more information, see the full report.

Dr Kabir Sheikh, a Policy Advisor at the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, a World Health Organization-hosted partnership, has commented on the report’s findings, highlighting the need for more Health Policy and Systems Research. You can read his blog here: Why strengthening health systems is vital across the world.

For more information on the review or Technopolis Group’s work in health, please contact Peter Varnai or Anoushka Davé.

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