Research policy

Ministerial Summit on Health Research

Key Objectives

The Summit intended to answer the overriding question: What research is needed to reach the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015? A technical agenda for health research was developed by national ministers of health and other key stakeholders. The Mexico Agenda focuses on targeting research on primary constraints to health systems performance, such as, human resources shortfalls and the urgent need to promote knowledge access and sharing for achieving better health and health equity. The Summit expounded the message that we must turn scientific knowledge into actions which improve people's health, and that health improvement through knowledge applications is a critical factor in human development to alleviate ill-health and poverty worldwide.

Specific objectives of the Summit were to:

  • Identify mechanisms by which research can more effectively inform the policy-making process for health and healthcare;
  • Develop a priority agenda for research on health systems issues that currently represent the primary constraints to the achievement of the MDGs;
  • Acknowledge the imperative for health research systems to go beyond the generation of information, recognizing the complementary importance of access to knowledge and its utilization;
  • Endorse specific global collaborative efforts in research that will be characterized as global public goods and improve the accessibility of scientific information by developing countries;
  • Galvanize efforts to increase investment for a new and innovative approach to research on health systems.

The Summit programme was designed to encourage dynamic interaction among the participants through plenary ministerial roundtables, parallel working sessions addressing relevant topics, and networking lunches. Morning plenary sessions were also held with Forum 8, the annual meeting of the Global Forum for Health Research.