Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, External review 2014

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The Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research (AHPSR) is an international independently governed collaboration situated in the Health Systems and Innovation cluster at the World Health Organization’s (WHO) headquarters in Geneva. Its overarching goal is to improve the health sectors of low and middle-income countries (LMICs) through the promotion and use of empirical health policy and systems research (HPSR). The objectives of the Alliance, as laid out in its 2011–15 Strategic Plan, are to:

  • Stimulate the generation and synthesis of policy-relevant health systems knowledge, encompassing evidence, tools and methods.
  • Promote the dissemination and use of HPSR knowledge to improve the performance of health systems.
  • Facilitate the development of capacity for the generation, dissemination and use of HPSR knowledge among researchers, policy-makers and other stakeholders.

Recommendations of the review include:

  • The Alliance should further rationalise and focus where it has a clear advantage.
  • The Alliance should review the balance of work between generating knowledge, building capacity, and advocacy and dissemination.
  • The Alliance should increase the transparency of its processes in order to demonstrate the criteria used for prioritisation of activities and selection of research topics.
  • The Alliance urgently needs to review its dissemination and communication functions and to produce a strategy, which will strengthen this function.
  • Research generation is, by its nature, long term in delivery. This needs to be recognised by funders and, where possible, risk should be reduced by longer-term commitments.


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