Systems thinking represents a unique theoretical and practical contribution. It facilitates ways to cross disciplines, and brings previously unused tools and approaches to tackle global health implementation differently. Future Health Systems (FHS) has played a major role in applying and advocating for the approach as a means to holistically understand health systems in low- and middle-income countries, as well as adaptation and scale-up of the project’s interventions.
Filtering by Category: JHSPH
The Human Capital of Knowledge Brokers: An analysis of attributes, capacities and skills of academic teaching and research faculty at Kenyan schools of public health
Jessani N, Kennedy C and Bennett S (2016) The Human Capital of Knowledge Brokers: An analysis of attributes, capacities and skills of academic teaching and research faculty at Kenyan schools of public health, Health Research Policy and Systems, 14:58, doi:10.1186/s12961-016-0133-0
Academic faculty involved in public health teaching and research serve as the link and catalyst for knowledge synthesis and exchange, enabling the flow of information resources, and nurturing relations between ‘two distinct communities’ – researchers and policymakers – who would not otherwise have the opportunity to interact. Their role and their characteristics are of particular interest, therefore, in the health research, policy and practice arena, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. We investigated the individual attributes, capacities and skills of academic faculty identified as knowledge brokers (KBs) in schools of public health (SPH) in Kenya with a view to informing organisational policies around the recruitment, retention and development of faculty KBs.Read More
Enhancing evidence-informed decision making: strategies for engagement between public health faculty and policymakers in Kenya
Jessani N, Kennedy C and Bennett S (2016) Enhancing evidence-informed decision making: strategies for engagement between public health faculty and policymakers in Kenya, Evidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/174426416X14595114153349
This article examines the complex interactions and strategies for engagement – both existing as well as desired – between academic Knowledge Brokers (KBs) and national health policymakers in Kenya. Based on semi-structured interviews with academic KBs and university leaders from six Schools of Public Health (SPHs) as well as national policymakers, the authors found that a delicate balance between leveraging personal individual relationships and establishing more sustained institutional partnerships is important for engagement. The authors provide a list of recommended strategies for effective and tailored engagement, and highlight the important but under-appreciated dual role of academic KBs within Kenyan universities.
Pratt B, Merritt M and Hyder AA (2016) Towards deep inclusion for equity-oriented health research priority-setting: A working model, Social Science and Medicine, vol 151, pp 215-224, doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.01.018
Growing consensus that health research funders should align their investments with national research priorities presupposes that such national priorities exist and are just. Arguably, justice requires national health research priority-setting to promote health equity. Such a position is consistent with recommendations made by the World Health Organization and at global ministerial summits that health research should serve to reduce health inequalities between and within countries. Thus far, no specific requirements for equity-oriented research priority-setting have been described to guide policymakers. As a step towards the explication and defence of such requirements, we propose that deep inclusion is a key procedural component of equity-oriented research priority-setting.Read More
Health Systems Research Consortia and the Promotion of Health Equity in Low and Middle-Income Countries
Recent conceptual work has explored what features might be necessary for health systems research consortia and their research programs to promote health equity. Identified features include selecting research priorities that focus on improving access to high-quality health services and/or financial protection for disadvantaged populations in LMICs and conducting research capacity strengthening that promotes the independent conduct of health systems research in LMICs. Yet, there has been no attempt to investigate whether existing consortia have such characteristics. This paper describes the results of a survey undertaken with health systems research consortia leaders worldwide to assess how consistent current practice is with the proposed ethical guidance.Read More
The relationship between non-communicable disease occurrence and poverty—evidence from demographic surveillance in Matlab, Bangladesh
Mirelman AJ, Rose S, Khan JAM, Ahmed S, Peters DH, Niessen LW, Trujillo AJ (2016) The relationship between non-communicable disease occurrence and poverty—evidence from demographic surveillance in Matlab, Bangladesh, Health Policy and Planning. 2016, 1-8, doi: 10.1093/heapol/czv134
In low-income countries, a growing proportion of the disease burden is attributable to non- communicable diseases (NCDs). There is little knowledge, however, of their impact on wealth, human capital, economic growth or household poverty. This article estimates the risk of being poor after an NCD death in the rural, low-income area of Matlab, Bangladesh.Read More
Effectiveness of a pay-for-performance intervention to improve maternal and child health services in Afghanistan: a cluster-randomized trial
Engineer C, Dale E, Agarwal A, Agarwal A, Alonge O, Edward A, Gupta S, Schuh H, Burnham G, Peters DH (2016) Effectiveness of a pay for performance intervention to improve maternal and child health services in Afghanistan: A cluster-randomized trial, International Journal of Epidemiology, doi: 10.1093/ije/dyv362
A cluster randomized trial of a pay-for-performance (P4P) scheme was implemented in Afghanistan to test whether P4P could improve maternal and child (MCH) services. The authors found that the intervention had minimal effect, possibly due to difficulties communicating with health workers and inattention to demand-side factors. P4P interventions need to consider management and community demand issues.
Bypassing Primary Care Facilities for Childbirth: Findings from a Multilevel Analysis of Skilled Birth Attendance Determinants in Afghanistan
Tappis H, Koblinsky M, Doocy S, Warren N, Peters DH (2016) Bypassing primary care facilities for childbirth: findings from a multilevel analysis of skilled birth attendance determinants in Afghanistan, Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, Volume 61, Issue 2, pages 185–195, DOI: 10.1111/jmwh.12359
The objective of this study was to assess the association between health facility characteristics and other individual/household factors with a woman's likelihood of skilled birth attendance in north-central Afghanistan. The study finds that assumptions that women who give birth with a skilled attendant do so at the closest health facility may mask the importance of supply-side determinants of skilled birth attendance. More research based on actual utilization patterns, not assumed catchment areas, is needed to truly understand the factors influencing care-seeking decisions in both emergency and nonemergency situations and to adapt strategies to reduce preventable mortality and morbidity in Afghanistan.Read More
Distribution of chronic disease mortality and deterioration in household socioeconomic status in rural Bangladesh: an analysis over a 24-year period
Khan JAM, Trujillo AJ, Ahmed S, Siddiquee AT, Alam N, Mirelman AJ, Koehlmoos TP, Niessen LW and Peters DH (2015) Distribution of chronic disease mortality and deterioration in household socioeconomic status in rural Bangladesh - an analysis over a 24 year period, International Journal of Epidemiology, 44 (6), 1917-1926, doi: 10.1093/ije/dyv197
Little is known about long-term changes linking chronic diseases and poverty in low-income countries such as Bangladesh. This study examines how chronic disease mortality rates change across socioeconomic groups over time in Bangladesh, and whether such mortality is associated with households falling into poverty.Read More
This paper examines common approaches for quantifying health inequities and assesses the extent to which they incorporate key theories necessary for explicating the definition of health inequity. The first theoretical analysis examined the distinction between inter-individual and inter-group health inequalities as measures of health inequities. The second analysis considered the notion of fairness in health inequalities from different philosophical perspectives.Read More
Assessing the pro-poor effect of different contracting schemes for health services on health facilities in rural Afghanistan
Alonge O, Gupta S, Engineer C, Salehi AS, Peters DH, (2015) Assessing the pro-poor effect of different contracting schemes for health services on health facilities in rural Afghanistan, Health Policy & Plannning, 30 (10): 1229-1242, doi: 10.1093/heapol/czu127
Despite progress in improving health outcomes in Afghanistan by contracting public health services through non-governmental organizations (NGOs), inequity in access persists between the poor and non-poor. This study examined the distributive effect of different contracting types on primary health services provision between the poor and non-poor in rural Afghanistan.Read More
In reviewing national health systems assessments (HSAs), the authors identify four primary rationales for doing HSAs: (i) to motivate health systems reform, (ii) to promote harmonization and alignment across actors in the health system, (iii) to help translate health systems reforms into meaningful ways to track performance, and (iv) to facilitate learning through cross-country comparisons. The authors propose a set of principles to guide HSAs.Read More
Corporate social responsibility in global health: an exploratory study of multinational pharmaceutical firms
Droppert H, Bennett S (2015) Corporate social responsibility in global health: an exploratory study of multinational pharmaceutical firms, Globalization and Health 2015 11:15, DOI: 10.1186/s12992-015-0100-5
As pharmaceutical firms experience increasing civil society pressure to act responsibly in a changing globalized world, many are expanding and/or reforming their corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies. The authors of this journal article sought to understand how multinational pharmaceutical companies currently engage in CSR activities in the developing world aimed at global health impact, their motivations for doing so and how their CSR strategies are evolving.Read More
Promoting equity through health systems research in low and middle-income countries: Practices of researchers
Pratt B, Allen K A, Hyder A A (2015) Promoting equity through health systems research in low and middle-income countries: Practices of researchers, AJOB Empirical Bioethics, doi:10.1080/23294515.2015.1122669
Health systems research is increasingly identified as an indispensable means to achieve the goal of health equity between and within countries. While conceptual work has explored what form of health systems research in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) is needed to promote health equity, there have been few attempts to investigate whether it is being performed in practice. This paper describes the results of a survey undertaken with health systems researchers worldwide to assess how equity-oriented current practice is in LMICs.Read More
Do academic knowledge brokers exist? Using social network analysis to explore academic research-to-policy networks from six schools of public health in Kenya
The potential for academic research institutions to facilitate knowledge exchange and influence evidence-informed decision-making has been gaining ground. Schools of public health (SPHs) may play a key knowledge brokering role—serving as agencies of and for development. Understanding academic-policymaker networks can facilitate the enhancement of links between policymakers and academic faculty at SPHs, as well as assist in identifying academic knowledge brokers (KBs). Using a census approach, the authors administered a sociometric survey to academic faculty across six SPHs in Kenya to construct academic-policymaker networks.Read More
George AS, Mehra V, Scott K, Sriram V (2015) Community Participation in Health Systems Research: A Systematic Review Assessing the State of Research, the Nature of Interventions Involved and the Features of Engagement with Communities. PLoS ONE 10(10): e0141091. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0141091
Community participation is a major principle of people centered health systems, with considerable research highlighting its intrinsic value and strategic importance. Existing reviews largely focus on the effectiveness of community participation with less attention to how community participation is supported in health systems intervention research.
This systematic review explores the extent, nature and quality of community participation in health systems intervention research in low- and middle-income countries.
It concludes that despite positive examples, community participation in health systems interventions was variable, with few being truly community directed. Future research should more thoroughly engage with community participation theory, recognize the power relations inherent in community participation, and be more realistic as to how much communities can participate and cognisant of who decides that.
There is a growing appreciation and recognition of the role of the private sector in the development of better health systems and the improvement of healthcare worldwide.
This Health Policy and Planning supplement reflects contributions to a Symposium of the Health Systems Global Private Sector in Health Thematic Working Group during the 9th World Congress on Health Economics, held in Sydney in July 2013. Members of the PSIH TWG that convened the Symposium included FHS members David Bishai (JHBSPH) and Gerry Bloom (IDS), and was generously supported by Rockefeller, Gates, USAID, AusAid (DFAT), and DFID.Read More
Using photovoice to examine community level barriers affecting maternal health in rural Wakiso district, Uganda
Musoke D., Ekirapa-Kiracho E., Ndejjo R. and George A. (2015) Using photovoice to examine community level barriers affecting maternal health in rural Wakiso district, Uganda, Reproductive Health Matters, 23(45):136-47, doi: 10.1016/j.rhm.2015.06.011
Uganda continues to have poor maternal health indicators including a high maternal mortality ratio. This paper explores community level barriers affecting maternal health in rural Wakiso district, Uganda. Using photovoice, a community-based participatory research approach, over a five-month period, ten young community members aged 18-29 years took photographs and analysed them, developing an understanding of the emerging issues and engaging in community dialogue on them. Photovoice's strength is in generating evidence by community members in ways that articulate their perspectives, support local action and allow direct communication with stakeholders.Read More
Do Interventions that Promote Awareness of Rights Increase Use of Maternity Care Services? A Systematic Review
George AS, Branchini C, Portela A (2015) Do Interventions that Promote Awareness of Rights Increase Use of Maternity Care Services? A Systematic Review. PLoS ONE 10(10): e0138116. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0138116
Twenty years after the rights of women to go through pregnancy and childbirth safely were recognized by governments, The authors of this systematic review assessed the effects of interventions that promote awareness of these rights to increase use of maternity care services. Using inclusion and exclusion criteria defined in a peer-reviewed protocol, the authors searched published and grey literature from one database of studies on maternal health, two search engines, an internet search and contact with experts.Read More
Lessons learnt during the process of setup and implementation of the voucher scheme in Eastern Uganda: a mixed methods study
In spite of the investments made by the Ugandan Government, the utilisation of maternal health services has remained low, resulting in a high maternal mortality (438 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births). Aiming to reduce poor women’s constraints to the utilisation of services, an intervention consisting of a voucher scheme and health system strengthening was implemented. This paper presents the lessons learnt during the setup and implementation of the intervention in Eastern Uganda, in order to inform the design and scale up of similar future interventions.Read More