The need for credible evidence on what works is urgent, as many countries in the Region are still struggling to provide minimal health services with significant preventable morbidity and mortality.
While there has been an unprecedented increase in research to the point of ‘information overload’, many systematic reviews still conclude that the evidence base on many topics is inadequate and many policy makers still complain about lack of relevant evidence to inform important programmatic decisions.
Advocacy for increased funding can be further undermined by doubts among stakeholders about the efficiency and effectiveness of research, failures to realize the potential of previous investments by poor utilization of research and by reduced public trust in research. On the other hand, many of the developing countries’ systems are caught unprepared to deal with rapid surges in externally funded, especially industry-sponsored, research, including clinical trials.
In such a context, strategies are needed that can increase efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and accountability in health research and improve its utilization to inform policies and programs. Hence in the immediate future, the programme aims to:
- Strengthen essential national health research governance and management functions, especially in low- and middle-income countries.
- Review, reform, streamline and strengthen the research ethics governance systems to reduce the bureaucratic burden and costs and improve efficiency to protect research subjects.
- Promote strategies such as systematic data preservation and system for prospective registration of research to improve efficiency in health research.
- Promote systematic interventions to build research capacity especially in low-and middle income countries.
- Promote the use of research results and other information in health policy-making and in provision of health services.