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Table 1 Key publications and events advocating for Health Policy and Systems Research (HPSR)

From: The evolution of the field of Health Policy and Systems Research and outstanding challenges

Date Publication or Event Significance
1996 Ad Hoc Committee report “Health Policy and Systems Development: An agenda for Research” [2] First attempt to identify global research priorities for the health policy and systems field; contributed to the establishment of the Alliance for HPSR
1997 Lejondal Meeting in Stockholm and accompanying reports and proposals [28] This international consultative meeting at Lejondal with senior scientists, policy-makers and representatives of various agencies with a stake in HPSR led the way for an “Interim Board” for the Alliance for HPSR
2000 World Health Report: “Health Systems: Improving performance” [15] One of the early reports to present a clear conceptual framework for health systems, and the somewhat controversial ranking of country health systems both piqued policy-maker interest and offered a set of consistent metrics for health systems
2003–04 Task Force for Health Systems Research [29] Identified health systems research priorities to help achieve the Millenium Development Goals. Report was published in the Lancet
2004 Tanzania Essential Health Intervention Project (TEHIP) launch of final report “Fixing Health Systems” [30] Said to have triggered interest in health system investments at senior levels of the Gates Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Trust
2004 Ministerial Summit on health research, Mexico City, Mexico [16] Statement from the Summit called for greater investment in health systems research, but also for greater attention to the evidence-to-policy gap
2004 European Commission report on 20 years of health systems research funding [31] Called for greater investment in HPSR, as well greater attention to capacity development for low- and middle-income partners, and getting research into policy and practice
2006 Lancet and Mexican Ministry of Health meeting on health system reform Showcased national level efforts to drive policy change through HPSR
2008 Ministerial Meeting on Health Research, Bamako, Mali [17] Follow-on from the Mexico Summit, continued to drive focus on health systems research and evidence-to-policy work, as well as assessing progress against Summit commitments
2008 High-level consultation and task force on “Scaling Up Research and Learning for Health Systems” [32] Issued four main recommendations: (1) mobilise a high profile agenda of research and learning on health systems; (2) engage policy-makers in shaping the agenda and encourage research use; (3) strengthen country capacity for HPSR; and (4) increase financing for HPSR
2010 First Global Symposium on Health Systems Research, Montreux, Switzerland First international conference focused on HPSR
2012 WHO Strategy on Research for Health [27] Initiated in 2007 and developed through a consultative process, this WHO strategy document prioritised research that met health needs, and underscored investments in capacity development and knowledge translation
2012 Changing Mindsets: WHO Strategy on Health Policy and Systems Research [33] First WHO strategy focused on HPSR
2012 Second Global Symposium on Health Systems Research, Beijing, China Establishment of the society, Health Systems Global
2013 Research for Universal Health Coverage: World Health Report 2013 [34] Articulates the importance of HPSR to advance progress in universal health coverage and calls for greater investment in low- and middle-income countries in HPSR
2014 Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research, Cape Town, South Africa  
2014 Statement on Advancing Implementation Research and Delivery Science [18] Joint statement issued by the Alliance for HPSR, USAID, WHO and the World Bank underlining the importance of implementation research
2016 Fourth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research, Vancouver, Canada