National research for health systems in Latin America and the Caribbean: moving towards the right direction?

Francisco Becerra-Posada, Miryam Minayo, Cristiane Quental and Sylvia de Haan
Health Research Policy and Systems
Published online: 6 March 2014

Abstract / Resumen:

National Research for Health Systems (NRfHS) in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) have shown growth and consolidation in the last few years. A structured, organized system will facilitate the development and implementation of strategies for research for health to grow and contribute towards people’s health and equity. Methods: We conducted a survey with the health managers from LAC countries that form part of the Ibero-American Ministerial Network for Health Education and Research. Results: From 13 of 18 questionnaires delivered, we obtained information on the NRfHS governance and management structures, the legal and political framework, the research priorities, existing financing schemes, and the main institutional actors. Data on investment in science and technology, scientific production, and on the socio-economic reality of countries were obtained through desk review focused on regional/global data sources to increase comparability. Conclusions: By comparing the data gathered with a review carried out in 2008, we were able to document the advances in research for health system development in the region, mostly in setting governance, coordination, policies, and regulations, key for better functionality of research for health systems. However, in spite of these advances, growth and consolidation of research for health systems in the region is still uneven.

Keywords / Palabras claveHealth research; Latin America and Caribbean; National research for health systems

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