Health systems researchers are the type of people that want to solve problems. Often, they have a vision of a better world and this inspires them in their work. The values that guide them might include social justice, the reduction of inequities, or improvements in wellbeing.
Creating more healthy societies is about more than the fixing of a particular illness – it is about transformation, revolution, and seismic change. Working together is an opportunity to profoundly re-organise the way health systems work which can impact upon the societies that they serve.
Many of the resources in this section consider how we should decide which research areas are a priority by assessing their relative benefits. For example, the blog (2016) and paper by Benatar (2017) challenge health researchers consider economic, cultural and political systems in their work and link it to planetary health and ecological systems as a catalyst for positive change.
The paper by Barsdorf and Millum (2017) advances the idea that ethical health research should focus on those most effected by ill-health and those interventions which would benefit the largest number of people. We have included a paper by van de Pas et al. (2017) which explores whether the recent drive for health systems ‘resilience’ takes us nearer or further away from an approach that prioritises equity, global solidarity and justice.
Pratt (2014) suggests that health systems researchers’ efforts to take an equitable approach are hampered by the need to meet global targets that may not align with local need and a one-size-fits all approach to capacity development. This argument is advanced and elaborated on in paper by Pratt and Hyder (2015).
Pratt et al.’s (2015) review of 104 researchers to assess how equity orientated their practice in low- and middle-income countries suggests that there is room for improvement, particularly in terms of the selection of populations upon whom to focus studies. Also included in the resources is Pratt and Hyder’s (2017) assessment of the Maternal and Neonatal Implementation for Equitable Health Systems (Manifest) project and its relation to “research for health justice”.
Benatar S. (2016) A time for global health ethics, Impact Ethics In this blog Benatar argues that a shift in attention from individual health to population health requires new ways of thinking inclusive of our interactions with the biosphere and planetary sustainability. He suggests that, “current global crises include the instability of a fraudulent global economic system; […]
“Not Everything That Is Faced Can Be Changed, but Nothing Can Be Changed Until It Is Faced”: A Response to Recent Commentaries
Benatar S.R. (2017) “Not Everything That Is Faced Can Be Changed, but Nothing Can Be Changed Until It Is Faced”: A Response to Recent Commentaries, Int J Health Policy Manag. 2017 Mar 1;6(7):423-425 Given the unsatisfactory and unpredictable nature of progress, and the critical state of the world, ongoing consideration of alternative possibilities for better social […]
Barsdorf N. and Millum J. (2017) The Social Value of Health Research and the Worst Off, Bioethics. 2017 Feb;31(2):105-115 In this article we argue that the social value of health research should be conceptualized as a function of both the expected benefits of the research and the priority that the beneficiaries deserve. People deserve greater priority […]
van de Pas R., Ashour M., Kapilashrami A. and Fustukian S.(2017) Interrogating resilience in health systems development, Health Policy and Planning, Volume 32, Issue suppl_3, 1 November 2017, Pages iii88–iii90 The Fourth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research was themed around ‘Resilient and responsive health systems for a changing world.’ This commentary is the outcome of a […]
Pratt B. (2014) Connecting Health Systems Research Ethics to a Broader Health Equity Agenda, The American Journal of Bioethics, Volume 14, 2014 – Issue 2 This editorial identifies three areas of ethical tension in health systems research: 1) the dominance of global targets in priority setting which may crowd out health systems research that is responsive […]
Pratt and A. A. Hyder (2015) Applying a Global Justice Lens to Health Systems Research Ethics: An Initial Exploration, Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, Volume 25, Number 1, March 2015, pp. 35-66 Recent scholarship has considered what, if anything, rich people owe to poor people to achieve justice in global health and the implications of this […]
Promoting equity through health systems research in low- and middle-income countries: Practices of researchers
Pratt, B. et al. (2015) Promoting equity through health systems research in low- and middle-income countries: Practices of researchers, AJOB Empirical Bioethics Vol. 7 , Iss. 3,2016 Health systems research is increasingly identified as an indispensable means to achieve the goal of health equity between and within countries. While conceptual work has explored what form of […]
Linking Participatory Action Research on Health Systems to Justice in Global Health: A Case Study of the Maternal and Neonatal Implementation for Equitable Health Systems Project in Rural Uganda
Pratt B. and Hyder A.A. (2017) Linking Participatory Action Research on Health Systems to Justice in Global Health: A Case Study of the Maternal and Neonatal Implementation for Equitable Health Systems Project in Rural Uganda, Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, Vol 13, Issue 1, pp. 74 – 87 An ethical framework called […]