Research policy

World Report on Knowledge for Better Health


Content and material for the various chapters were developed by a team of writers. Zulfiqar Bhutta contributed to broad health research issues, ethics and equity; Piroska Östlin to gender and equity issues in health and health research; Jimmy Volmink and Metin Gulmezoglu to research synthesis and systematic reviews; Ritu Sadana, Shook-Pui Lee-Martin, Guillermo Paraje, Carol D’Souza, Ghassan Karam, Emmanuel Guindon, Rachel Racelis and the Health Research Systems Analyses project network to health research systems; John Lavis to research utilization; David Evans, Ties Boerma, Phyllida Travis, Mario dal Poz to health systems research priorities. Adnan Hyder, Robert Eiss and Eva Harris reviewed the final draft of the report.

Robert Eiss played a key role in helping to prepare and develop a concept for the report. Advice and guidance was provided throughout the process by Zulfiqar Bhutta, Lincoln Chen, Adnan Hyder, Thomson Prentice, Gita Sen, Jonathon Simon, and Suwit Wibulpolprasert. Tim Evans played a crucial guiding and advisory role in the final shaping of the report, as did Denis Aitken and Ariel Pablos-Mendez. Joanne McManus served as the report’s editor and it was produced under the overall direction of Tikki Pang.

Original chapters were reviewed and commented upon by Barbara Aronson, Christopher Bailey, Leonardo de Castro, Tony Dans, Mahmoud Fathalla, Fiona Godlee, Andy Haines, Justus Hofmeyr, Adnan Hyder, Margaret Kruk, Mary Ann Lansang, Pisake Lumbiganon, Hooman Momen, Andy Oxman, Ariel Pablos-Mendez, Ulysses Panisset, Thomson Prentice, Don de Savigny and Cesar Victora. Parts of the report also draw on the work of the Task Force on Health Systems Research Priorities (chaired by Andy Haines), the Task Force on Knowledge Access and Sharing (chaired by Richard Horton) and the Joint Learning Initiative on Human Resources for Health and Development.

Strong and dedicated support for the production of the report was provided by Patrick Unterlerchner, including the development of the report’s web site. Iain Simpson helped to edit the final draft of the report. Beth Hochman and Renée Givari made important contributions in performing supplementary research and in the initial development of boxes. Marc Kaufman was responsible for layout, cover design and printing of the report. Pauline McKay provided valuable administrative support. Al Wieboldt, Maryvonne Grisetti, Catherine Roch, Jean-Marc Grégoire assisted in its dissemination. Stéfanie Durivage contributed to the publicity related to the report.

The idea for a report on health research was first proposed by WHO’s Advisory Committee on Health Research (ACHR) in 2001 under the Chairmanship of Mahmoud Fathalla. Current and past members of ACHR (Zulfiqar Bhutta, Barry Bloom, Andy Haines, Marian Jacobs, Jerry Keusch, Wen Kilama, Rose Leke, Jean-Paul Moatti, Vicharn Panich, Gita Sen, Hideo Shinozaki, Vladimir Shkolnikov, Fumimaro Takaku, Cesar Victora, Lars Walloe, Judy Whitworth) participated and contributed to its development. Current and past Chairs of regional ACHR’s also provided valuable inputs and advice: Mohamed Abdullah (AFRO), Jorge Allende (AMRO/PAHO), Atta-ur-Rahman (EMRO), David Banta (EURO), Nirmal Ganguly (SEARO) and Terry Dwyer (WPRO).

Staff at WHO regional offices in charge of health research provided invaluable assistance by organizing regional consultations in all WHO regions during 2004 to gather ideas and contributions which they wrote up for the report: James Mwanzia (AFRO), Rebecca de los Rios and Alberto Pellegrini (AMRO/PAHO), Mohamed Abdur Rab (EMRO), Yves Charpak (EURO), Adik Wibowo (SEARO) and Reijo Salmela (WPRO).

Many others contributed to the report in many different ways including general ideas and suggestions, identifying and supplying key publications, preparation of boxes, checking contents of boxes, supplying data for figures and tables, and performing research to inform parts of chapters. They are too numerous to mention here and a full list of contributors is posted on the report’s web site at: