HEALTH POLICY AND SYSTEM RESEARCH IN GLOBAL SOUTH: BRIDGING THE GAP THROUGH CITIZEN PARTICIPATION
Keywords: Health policy and system research, Developing countries, Global South, Citizen participation
AbstractThe challenges that elicited the conception and promotion of health policy and system research (HPSR) as a delineated field are ever-present and increasing in complexity. Challenges such as (re)emergence of deadly infectious diseases; increasing burden of non-communicable diseases; and the paucity of human and financial resources are inevitable as a result of fluxes in the face of contending national and global priorities. Although health system influences a nation’s health status, the dearth of information in the field of HPSR in Global South as evident by their fragile and unresponsive health systems as seen during Ebola virus outbreaks, armed conflicts and dismal research outputs compared to Global North calls for multifaceted actions. Hence, the need to strengthen health systems to increase nations’ health systems resilience and efficiency through simple, innovative and evidence-based approaches towards achieving and maintaining sustainable development goals (SDGs) becomes ever imperative. This paper leverages on personal reflection & experiences and evidence from the literature to suggest innovative ways with focus on citizen participation in governance and decision making, in addition to existing strategies, to keep the HPSR in Global South relevant and dynamic to catalyze change in attitude, improve in resource mobilization and sustainable reforms in health care systems.