Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research

Why we need an initiative

The central problem that motivates the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research is that there is insufficient use of knowledge for enhancing health system performance.
Insufficient use has two dimensions:

  1. There is a gross lack of information on the performance of health systems and on how policies affect performance;
  2. even when knowledge is available, it is not necessarily known to or used by policy makers.

The availability of knowledge and its appropriate use are both associated with low capacity to produce and disseminate research.

Creation of the initiative

Emanating from a recommendation by the Ad Hoc Committee on Health Research, the Alliance was established in November 1999 and formally launched in March 2000 as an initiative of the Global Forum for Health Research, with the Alliance secretariat based in WHO. The Alliance has evolved over the last few years into an international collaboration based in the WHO, Geneva

Objectives and focus

The aim of the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research is to promote the generation, dissemination and use of knowledge for enhancing health system performance. Its specific objectives are as follows:

  • To stimulate the generation and synthesis of knowledge, encompassing evidence, tools and methods.
  • To facilitate the development of capacity for the generation, dissemination and use of knowledge among researchers, policy makers and other stakeholders.
  • To promote the dissemination and use of knowledge to improve the performance of health systems.

Key activities

The Alliance pursues the above-mentioned objectives through:

  • Monitoring and publicizing the global progress of health policy and systems research (HPSR).
  • Synthesizing, disseminating and funding research on priority areas.
  • Encouraging the attainment of a critical mass of researchers in the field of HPSR.
  • Promoting policy-relevant research and evidence-based decision-making, including approaches which achieve effective interaction between key actors.
  • Ensuring widespread access to HPSR knowledge through effective communications strategies.
  • Monitoring and evaluating progress in the Alliance partnership and secretariat.