CHEPSAA is concerned with building the field of health policy and systems research and analysis (HPSR+A) in Africa.
This concern drives the consortium’s different types of strategic activities, which include:
- Review of the capacity development needs of the African partner organizations and their national networks;
- Addressing identified capacity needs and strengthening African skills and organisational capacity in support of training and research in the HPSR+A field;
- Extending existing African teaching programmes in the field of HPSR+A; and
- Supporting the development of academic teaching and research networks, both to sustain demand for training and research in the field and to facilitate the use of research in policy making.
Regional actors such as African Ministers of Health and international stakeholders such as the World Health Organisation have recognised the importance of HPSR+A in, among other things, generating evidence to promote health systems’ coverage, quality, efficiency and equity. The field’s place on the international agenda is highlighted by the 1st Global Symposium on Health Systems Research, which took place in Switzerland in 2010, and the 2nd Global Symposium on Health Systems Research, planned for November 2012.
However, African capacity to conduct and use HPSR+A remains quite limited. Relatively little money is spent on this type of research, few African scientists work in this area, the field is often underemphasised in public health education, few African universities offer relevant training programmes, policy-makers are often unaware of relevant research and researcher-policy maker interactions to support evidence-informed policy making are generally weak.
This situation explains CHEPSAA’s focus on the area of HPSR+A in Africa, as well as its intention to contribute to addressing challenges such as the consolidation and strengthening of relevant African research and educational programmes and the development of stronger engagement between the policy and research communities.
CHEPSAA’s aim is to extend sustainable African capacity to produce and use high quality health policy and systems research, by harnessing synergies among a consortium of African and European universities with relevant expertise.
Based on its objectives and strategic activities, CHEPSAA would expect to see results such as the following:
- Increased understanding and awareness in organisations, countries and internationally regarding African HPSR+A capacity development needs;
- African researchers and educators equipped with greater skill and confidence to provide training, do research and engage with networks in the field of HPSR+A, and organisations better able to support work in this area;
- Strengthened courses, better teaching and improved curriculum materials for the field of HPSR+A in Africa;
- Improved networking capacity and stronger links between researchers, educators and policy-makers;
- A bigger, and more cohesive, African community of researchers and educators in the field of HPSR+A; and
- A better understanding - through monitoring, evaluation and reflective practice - of how to implement capacity development collaborations such as these; understanding to be shared with others, but also to be applied to strengthening and further developing the work of this consortium.
CHEPSAA’s intention is to make as many as possible of its products available as open educational resources (OER), so that they will be widely shared with and easily adaptable by others according to their own contexts and needs.
Some specific products that CHEPSAA intends to produce for use beyond the consortium include:
- A handbook or toolkit on the capacity needs assessment approach developed and implemented by CHEPSAA; and
- New courses and course materials such as case studies, course outlines and reading lists, for example a new introductory course on health systems and policy.
Professor Lucy Gilson
University of Cape Town and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Professor Lucy Gilson
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (UK)
Ms Marsha Orgill
Health Policy & Systems Programme within the Health Economics Unit,
University of Cape Town
Dr Peter Kamuzora
Institute of Development Studies,
University of Dar es Salaam
Dr Irene Agyepong
School of Public Health,
University of Ghana,
Professor Stephen Okeyo
Tropical Institute of Community Health,
Great Lakes University of Kisumu
Professor Benjamin Uzochukwu
College of Medicine,
University of Nigeria Enugu
Professor Uta Lehmann
School of Public Health,
University of the Western Cape
Dr Jane Goudge
Centre for Health Policy,
University of the Witwatersrand
Dr Tolib Mirzoev
Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development,
University of Leeds
Professor Göran Tomson
Professor Don de Savigny
Health Systems Research Group,
Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute,
University of Basel