Embedded Research For Health Systems Strengthening, Accra, Ghana

14 November 2017

Participants, Embedded research for health systems strengthening meeting, Accra, Ghana

The Alliance has played a pioneering role in taking forward embedded research as an approach to integrate evidence into decision-making processes for health.

The Alliance’s leadership in this area was most recently highlighted at a meeting on Embedded Research for Health Systems Strengthening hosted by the Alliance and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation in Accra, Ghana on 30 and 31 October 2017. The meeting brought together researchers, policy- and decision-makers, and funders engaged in, advocating for, or supporting the use of the embedded approach, from Africa and beyond.

Opening the meeting, Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service stated, “...With the global focus of development on systems strengthening, there is an increased opportunity to leverage embedded research to enhance policy decisions and guide implementation. This however, requires ensuring that research undertaken aligns with the priorities of decision- and policy-makers within the health system. Engaging these actors in the identification of research questions improves the relevance of research, thereby increasing the likelihood that the research findings will be used. ...This meeting will provide the opportunity to share knowledge, generate new knowledge on how best to conduct health policy and systems research, ensure its use and strengthen institutional capacity for embedded research. ”

Over two days, participants shared experiences and best practices on how to involve policy- and decision-makers in health systems research from the conceptualization and design stage, discussed challenges to achieving this, and made tangible recommendations on how best to build institutional and individual capacities for embedded health systems research. Drawing on a scoping review of the literature on embedded research, participants worked together to reach consensus on a shared definition and characteristics of embedded research to inform the development of a practical guidance tool for policy- and decision-makers on how best to embed research in low- and middle-income countries’ health systems.

The tool, which is expected to play a vital role in advocating for and applying the embedded approach, reproduces Alliance leadership in supporting the development and dissemination of global public goods relevant to health policy and systems research, while engaging the full range of stakeholders in these processes.

For more information, please contact Zubin Shroff (shroffz@who.int)