UWC-Umeå (U2U) held a productive capacity building workshop (20-24 Nov 2017) in Cape Town focusing on health policy and systems research (HPSR). The event brought together diverse group of researchers based in academic institutions, research centres, public & non-government institutions across countries (Uganda, Kenya, Guatemala, Nigeria, Sweden, Zambia, India, Tanzania, South Africa). A series of presentations and interactive sessions were held over the week on issues related to Community health systems, governance and accountability, policy and politics, and research methods (social network analysis, discourse analysis, realist evaluation, particpatory action research). The meeting ended on a high with participants brainstorming ideas for continued engagement and collaboration.
The School of Public Health – University of the Western Cape and Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine – Umeå University have a 3 year NRF-STINT funded research collaborative programme on community-based health systems in South Africa and Sweden. The workshop forms part of this collaboration and has as its aim to create a platform for doctoral students, postdocs and senior researchers from participating institutions and their networks to exchange and advance knowledge of health policy and systems research (HPSR). Although the focus of the collaboration is on community-based health systems (CBHS), research on this theme touches on a number of other themes, such as responsiveness, social accountability, policy implementation, governance and leadership, public value and resilience. Research in all these areas has a common interest in deepening understanding of HPSR conceptual approaches and methodologies. The workshop thus takes an inclusive perspective, providing the opportunity for a wider cohort of emerging HPSR researchers linked to the two collaborating institutions to exchange ideas and develop their skills.