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Domestic research systems and capacity for health systems research along with coordinated and aligned external support is vital for health systems strengthening.
This was one of the key messages to come from a UHC2030 satellite session at the recent Health System Global HSR2016 Symposium on 14-18 November in Vancouver.
Almost 90 people attended the UHC2030 satellite session called ‘Effective development cooperation for health systems strengthening: some perspectives of UHC2030’.
The session, chaired by Lola Dare, CEO of Chestrad International, Nigeria, started with a general introduction to UHC2030 by Agnes Soucat, Director HGF in WHO and focused on research-related issues and research sponsored by IHP+/UHC2030.
Finn Schleimann, Senior Health Adviser, WHO/UHC2030 provided a short overview of IHP+ instruments that can be useful for assessing health systems and their performance, focusing on the importance of doing assessments jointly. Francis Ukwuije, Senior Health Economist, FMOH Nigeria, presented the Joint Learning Network for UHC, an important element of the knowledge management that will be a key feature of UHC2030, emphasizing how JLN had helped the efforts to strengthen the health system in Nigeria.
A discussion of the importance of research systems by a panel consisting of: Christine Tashobya, Coordinator, Makerere University; Sophie Witter, Professor, Queen Margaret University, UK; and Soonman Kwon, Chief of Health Sector Group, Asian Development Bank. They emphasized the importance of domestic research systems for health systems research. Having relevant data and analysis as well as domestic research capacity able to inform and dialogue with the public and decision makers is a cornerstone of strengthening health systems. Domestic and external support should be well coordinated and aligned, something which is often missing but very important in areas such as funding, capacity building and deciding research priorities.
Josef Decosas, Senior Partner, HERA, presented the methodology and an example of the results from a country (not named) of the 5th round of IHP+Results. This unique undertaking provides data from 30 countries on the state of effective development cooperation including some trends. Country reports will be validated and finalized over the coming months.
Finally, Max Dapaah, Senior FM Specialist, World Bank, shared the first results from a study on the effect of public financial management on achieving health results. The first phase of this study documented the considerable savings from harmonising donors’ individual FM systems. A subsequent phase aims at demonstrating the presumably much bigger efficiency gains - including for domestic funding - from aligning donor FM systems with the country system.
The Health System Global Symposium with close to 2000 participants was a good opportunity for networking and many people visited the UHC2030 booth; this offered an opportunity for sharing information, discussions and giving out material both on UHC2030 and its associated technical networks.
Photo: HSR2016 opening ceremony