Major Areas of Research
IHSP’s research contributes to health system improvements worldwide by emphasizing six interrelated areas of focus. The combination of operations and academically-oriented research allow the findings and methodologies of Program members’ research to reach a wide audience and inform policymaking. A listing of peer-reviewed journal articles, project-related technical analyses and reports, and other material emanating from IHSP member research activities can be found on the Publications page.
The six areas of IHSP research include the most relevant issues for low- and middle-income countries. These areas include:
Institutional Reforms and Capacity Building. Many challenges faced by governments around the world center around the management, organization and effectiveness of their health systems. IHSP’s research in this area emphasizes decentralization, organizational reform of ministries of health, human resource strategic planning, and case method management training.
Politics and Governance. Technical solutions to health systems deficiencies must take the political and governmental contexts into account to be effective and sustainable. IHSP’s research in this area emphasizes political strategies, advocacy and approaches to working in fragile states.
Health System Financing. Strengthening the financial resources and reducing the financial risks of illness that drive many into poverty requires innovative approaches in different country contexts. IHSP’s research in this area emphasizes social health insurance, community financing and national health accounts.
Public/Private Partnerships. Involving and working with the private sector is crucial to long-term improvements in health systems quality and efficiency. IHSP’s research in this area emphasizes assessments of private markets and public/private partnerships.
Building Community Capacities and Social Capital. Community involvement in delivery of health services is a key to promoting healthy behaviors and utilization of the health system. IHSP’s research in this area emphasizes the role of social capital in improving health systems delivery.
Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS Projects. The Millennium Development Goals and worldwide efforts to control the spread of HIV/AIDS have put a continuing concern on improving reproductive health services. IHSP’s research in this area emphasizes strengthening health system support for maternal and neonatal health, shifting family planning preferences from abortion to contraception and addressing economic and political aspects of HIV/AIDS programs.