Health systems


Knowledge can be explicit (derived from research, surveillance and published in journals, for example) or tacit (derived from experience). Innovation from practice and learning in context are important to bring about solutions to health problems. Having access to the world's health information and sharing experience are essential for well-functioning health systems. Knowledge in itself, however, is not enough. Many of the solutions to the world’s health problems are known but are not applied, leading to what is called the know-do gap: the gap between what is known and what gets done in practice.


Bridging the know-do gap in health, by fostering environments that encourage the creation, sharing, and effective application of knowledge, is vital. Drugs, vaccines and medical devices will have little effect on health unless people know how to use them correctly. Entrepreneurship, good management and information technology can facilitate access to information and knowledge translation into policy and practice.

Knowledge Helpful resources

Health systems

A well-functioning health system
working in harmony is built on having
trained and motivated health
workers, a well-maintained infrastructure,
and a reliable supply of medicines
and technologies, backed by adequate
funding, strong health plans and
evidence-based policies.