We believe that systems thinking and complexity science can be transformational in global health by increasing local capacity and shared learning, and minimizing unintended consequences.
The Global Forum for Health Research has just wrapped up its Forum 2009, and I will be heading back home after spending a very enjoyable week in Cuba. There were participants from all over the world, with 60% coming from low and middle income countries. Here are some highlights of the conference, as they relate to a consensus on HSS:
-As is the case at all of the global health conferences that I have attended recently, there is growing momentum to not only strengthen health systems, but approach the subject rigorously (though that will be quite difficult).
-The Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research launched a hundred-some page document outlining a ten-step process of health systems strengthening, “Systems thinking for health systems strengthening”. I think that the report is timely and important. There is still a need, in my mind, for a more focused set of principles targeted toward externally-funded global health planners and policy makers. That will be the role of our consensus statement.
-The First Global Symposium on Health Systems Research will be held on November 16-19 in Montreux, Switzerland.