PhD proposal: Moving Forward: Palestinian Health Research System (PHRS)
Supervisor: Marcel Tanner
Introduction: Health Research System (HRS) is the bedrock of health systems components, aiming to improve the population health, increase responsiveness and equity in health, and use the knowledge toward sustainable socio-economic development. There is still a major international concern in health research and development that the 10/90 research gap, particularly low-middle income countries still exists. It informs policy makers to find solutions, tackle threats, and address priorities especially in unstabilized environment. Health research effectively focuses on the most critical health issues.
Background: The Palestinian health system is influenced by several factors. Externally are exemplified in politics and socioeconomics, and internally such as workforce shortage, poor leadership and incentives, resources scarcity, weak information infrastructure, absence of unified strategy, as well as lack of coordination. Health research in Palestine remains stepping slowly and needs effective dynamics and collective effort locally and internationally to be strengthened. The challenges are mostly not recognized, and its activities at the institutions concerned are much less than what it should be.
Aim and objectives: The overall purpose understands the Palestinian Health Research System (PHRS) to be strengthened through find out a conclusion that leads to best strategies. The study aims to investigate the current status of PHRS at the individuals and institutions levels. This will be accomplished by exploring its landscape functions (governance, policy and financing), analysing the relevant stakeholders and its capacities and priorities and recognizing challenges. Eventually providing concrete and feasible suggestions for well-strengthen HRS and policy in Palestine.
Method: The design will be a contemporary observational situation analysis approaching qualitative and descriptive methods. It will take place in tow Palestinian identical areas, Gaza Strip (GS) and West Bank (WB) from 2015 to 2017. The interested health research areas to be investigated are all Public health research areas. Purposively, the relevant institutions from three sectors will targeted as follow: the academic by including health faculties that interested and producing these kinds of research areas, three in WB and three in GS. Eight relevant and involved governmental units at ministry of health (MOH) interested of such research will be selected. For the NGO and international sector, the relevant institutions will be selected appropriately based on national datasets and peer review. The participants will be local and international academicians, policy makers, experts, researchers, representatives, professionals and managers who are interested and engaged in research areas under investigation. Three instruments will be used in a triangulated manner as follow: Literatures, desk review and field visit, In-depth Interview (IDI) and Focus-group Discussion (FGD). The first tool will be to review the relevant local, regional and international publications, key documents and country and institutions reports shared by the stakeholders, to get information about the PHRS functions, stakeholders, priorities and resources. Fifty IDIs will be performed with fifty key-persons selected purposively referring to a prior and broad consultations and peer review; a bout twenty five in WB and the rest in GS and its length would take around 60-min. It will provide rich thoughts on the PHRS practices, policy, relationships, capacities, gaps and solutions. Six expanded and multi-sectorial FGD will be carried out, three in WB and three in GS, to address all stated objectives alike. One expanded national workshop will be organized to get further practical inputs to move forward by a national strategy for PHRS strengthening. Data outputs will be analysed qualitatively using different tools related to the each objective. Social network analysis (SNA), National Health Research mapping, health system thinking, situational analysis and stakeholder