There is an urgent need to build the Health Policy and Systems Research (HPSR) field and in particular to develop understanding across different disciplinary boundaries.
The development of HPSR is impeded by a cluster of related issues, namely (i) a heavy reliance on international funding for HPSR, (ii) an excessive focus on the direct utility of HPSR findings from specific studies, and (iii) a tendency to under-value contributions to HPSR from social sciences.
Innovations in funding HPSR are needed so that local actors, including policy-makers, civil society, and researchers, have a greater say in determining the nature of HPSR conducted.
Strategic investment should be made in promoting a greater shared understanding of theoretical frames and methodological approaches for HPSR including, for example, the development of HPSR journals, methodological workshops, and shared HPSR teaching curricula.
Dedicated and supportive homes for HPSR need to be found within universities, and also be developed as independent research institutes.
Bennett, S.; Agyepong, I. A.; Sheikh, K.; Hanson, K.; Ssengooba, F.; Gilson, L. Building the Field of Health Policy and Systems Research: An Agenda for Action. PLoS Medicine (2011) 8 (8) e1001081. [DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001081]