Strengthening national health research systems: implementation of the Action Plan to Strengthen the Use of Evidence, Information and Research for Policy-making in the WHO European Region (2017)

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Report of the first multicountry meeting on research for health -
2017 - Bulgaria

Participants from Armenia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan met on 15–17 November 2017 in Sofia, Bulgaria to explore country-driven and systems approaches to advancing national health research and evidence-informed policy-making. The meeting was an important capacity-building activity of the European Health Information Initiative (EHII) and marks a milestone in implementing resolution EUR/RC66/R12: Action plan to strengthen the use of evidence, information and research for policy-making in the WHO European Region.

Key areas covered during the meeting were:

  • the rationale for applying the systems approach to health research system strengthening in the WHO European Region;
  • the current status, opportunities and challenges of existing national health research in participating Member States;
  • resources for mapping and profiling national health research systems (NHRS; provided by the Council on Health Research for Development (COHRED)) and for developing a national research strategy (provided by Brunel University, United Kingdom); and
  • the planning and drafting of action plans for national health research strategies.

The Regional Action plan emphasizes a systems approach to health research, which involves aligning research agendas with public health priorities; facilitating multisectoral, interdisciplinary health research practices; and fostering the systematic and transparent use of research in local health decision-making.