Collaboration for Health Systems Analysis and Innovation (CHESAI)
Adding a social science perspective to the field of health policy and systems research can help developing countries address health problems in a more comprehensive way. In recent years professionals have come to recognize that critical health problems need to be addressed in a more comprehensive way. Addressing health problems one disease at a time (a clinical or biomedical approach) no longer works. Instead, support for a more comprehensive health system involves creating more sustainable health delivery systems. This approach is important for developing countries where fragmented health systems cannot serve the population's needs and where the health research capacity of individuals and institutions is limited. The centrepiece of this research involves building the field of health policy and systems research with an explicit social science perspective. To achieve that goal, a series of postdoctoral research awards, sabbaticals for practitioner-scholars, and expert researcher residencies will be awarded in Africa. The awards will help to strengthen the knowledge base needed to create equitable health systems, while also upgrading methodologies. The University of the Western Cape and University of Cape Town in South Africa have the necessary experience and resources to launch this work, and enjoy strong linkages with universities across Africa as well as with other key stakeholders and institutions. The expected outcomes include building the field of health policy and systems research, not only in South Africa but also in low- and middle-income countries throughout Africa. Giving researchers the time and space to debate, consolidate, and further develop the field is expected to create a community of practice in health policy and systems research. Individual awards for postdoctoral research, scholarships, and residencies will complement this outcome. Other expected outcomes include publications, teaching material, podcasts, websites, and the dissemination of ideas through conferences and seminars.