Research policy

Summary of various analytical work within HRSA


  • Health policies & Health Research
  • Benchmarking / case studies
  • Ethical standards for health research and research partnerships
    • This work focuses on the nature and mechanisms for ethical review in many WHO member states. The analyses will also investigate the relationship of ethical review of health research with the level of risk in research, sensitivity of topics and use of vulnerable populations, in a smaller sub-set of countries, including those participating in the in-depth component of the HRSA


  • Resource Flows for Health Research
    • Develop new methods and estimate amount spent on health research in several member states; build on methods and estimates of the Global Forum on Health Research, and in-depth work in selected countries participating in a COHRED initiative to better describe allocation of funds, and those participating in the in-depth component of the HRSA.

Creating & Sustaining Resources

  • Database of Institutions doing Health Researchers' database
    • Develop an innovative approach to assemble a comprehensive list of research institutions conducting health research. A broad definition of health research is used, and various methods to check and cross-check institutions on this list, in most member states
  • Cross-national movements of health researchers: brain drain/science gain
    • Although some recent studies , use new approaches to estimate skilled labour migration or resulting benefits/losses to countries in general, this work will focus specifically on the motivation (push and pull factors) for the migration of health researchers. An analyses of motivational factors will be supplemented by macro estimates of the number of health researchers migrating and country based policy reviews, in selected countries participating in the in-depth component of the HRSA

Producing & Using Research

  • Estimating research outputs through reference data bases
    • Using the ISI database supplemented by regional databases, estimate the number of articles published and range of journals published, over a 10 year period (1992-2001), by selected disciplines, specific topics or areas of research, and countries. Collaboration across countries and disciplines will also be investigated. The project will conduct a critical evaluation of existing reference data bases, including estimating the types of research outputs that are often excluded. Various biases and uncertainty analyses will be made explicit
  • Research Synthesis & Utilisation: uptake of research results, interaction with policies and impact on practices within health sector
    • This work will develop and test methods to describe and analyse the mechanisms through which research outputs are used or commissioned within national settings. Discrete areas of unambiguous research will be evaluated in selected countries. The pilot phase in Mexico, China, India and Ghana addressed the use of IUDs, multi-drug therapy for leprosy, and equitable access to health care. The main phase in a larger set of countries participating in the in-depth component of the HRSA may look at existing research evidence that is relatively clear addressing specific health topics within the health related MDGs (e.g., child mortality, maternal health, HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis). National, cross-national and international links will be explored and described
  • Linking to Millennium research and development priorities: estimating current technology gaps & priorities for investment given projected burden of disease
    • The premise of this work is that for many health problems, there is a gap between what can be achieved using current interventions and the total anticipated future health burden. In order to allocate optimally future investments in health research, the project will estimate the future burden of disease up to 2030; identify new technologies that may address this burden; estimate the magnitude of the future burden that may be avoided through investment in research and development for new technologies. This work will be carried out in conjunction with on-going work on burden of disease and cost-effectiveness analyses within WHO and collaborating institutions.

Other projects

- HRSA In depth country studies
- HRSA Resource flows
- HRSA Research utilization
- HRSA Research outputs
- HRSA Case studies

Other HRSA activities