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Health systems research in fragile and conflict-affected states: a research agenda-setting exercise.

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Woodward, Aniek, Sondorp, Egbert, Witter, Sophie and Martineau, Tim ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4833-3149 (2016) 'Health systems research in fragile and conflict-affected states: a research agenda-setting exercise.'. Health Research Policy and Systems, Vol 14, Issue 51.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND
There is increasing interest amongst donors in investing in the health sectors of fragile and conflict-affected states, although there is limited research evidence and research funding to support this. Agreeing priority areas is therefore critical. This paper describes an 18-month process to develop a consultative research agenda and questions for health systems research, providing reflections on the process as well as its output.

METHODS
After a scoping review had been conducted, primary data was collected from August 2014 to September 2015. Data was collected using a mixture of methods, including an online survey (n = 61), two face-to-face group sessions (one with 11 participants; one with 17), email consultation (n = 18), a webinar (n = 65), and feedback via LinkedIn. Two steering committees of purposively selected experts guided the research process - a core steering committee (n = 10) and broad steering committee (n = 20). The process moved from developing broad topics and lists of research needs to grouping and honing them down into a smaller, prioritised agenda, with specific research questions associated to each topic.

RESULTS
An initial list of 146 topics was honed down to 25 research needs through this process, grouped thematically under transition and sustainability, resilience and fragility, gender and equity, accessibility, capacity building, actors and accountability, community, healthcare delivery, health workforce, and health financing. They were not ranked, as all health system areas are interdependent. The research agenda forms a starting point for local contextualisation and is not definitive.

CONCLUSIONS
A wide range of stakeholders participated in the different stages of this exercise, which produced a useful starting point for health systems research agenda setting in fragile and conflict-affected states. The process of engagement may have been as valuable for building a community of researchers as the product. It is now important to drive forward the research agenda. Without both a higher profile and deeper focus for this area, there is a real risk that fragile and conflict-affected states will continue to fall behind in global health and development goals.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: W General Medicine. Health Professions > Health Services. Patients and Patient Advocacy > W 84 Health services. Delivery of health care
WA Public Health > WA 20.5 Research (General)
WA Public Health > WA 30 Socioeconomic factors in public health (General)
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 300 General. Refugees
WA Public Health > Health Administration and Organization > WA 525 General works
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > International Public Health Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1186/s12961-016-0124-1
Depositing User: Jessica Jones
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2016 08:51
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2019 10:12
URI: https://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/6018

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