Health systems research in fragile and conflict affected states: the webinar and beyond…

Building resilient and responsive health systems in fragile states and those recovering from conflict presents many challenges, one being the lack of evidence to guide efforts for health systems strengthening in such contexts. This was the subject of a lively interactive webinar on 27th May. The webinar was organised by the Thematic Working Group on Health Systems Research in Fragile and Conflict Affected States (TWG-FCAS) and hosted by Health Systems Global.

Over 50 participants joined the webinar. They heard Egbert Sondorp from the TWG-FCAS discussing some of the challenges of conducting relevant research in fragile settings, from the difficulties in defining research priorities, to the challenges of research uptake. This was followed by Aniek Woodward who presented on some of the findings of the recent TWG study on research needs for health systems research in FCAS. Two excellent and experienced panel members, Khalifa Elmusharaf and Nigel Pearson then gave their responses and expanded further on some of these research challenges and how they might be addressed.

It was then the turn of the webinar participants, many of them clearly highly experience in this field, who posted lots of challenging questions and comments, directly via the webinar and on Twitter, which the presenters and panelists responded to.

If you missed it, you can access the recording of the whole webinar here. You can also read an excellent blog on the event by Kate Hawkins, as well as a summary of the Twitter exchange that accompanied the webinar, under the #HSRFCAS tag.

Following on from the Group’s successful Tweetchat on health workforce strengthening in FCAS earlier this year, this webinar was another excellent forum for airing and discussing the issues around this really important and challenging area of health systems research. The TWG-FCAS will now include this excellent contribution of the participants and panellists as it moves forward with its work to promote research, policy and advocacy actions to contribute to the development and implementation of responsive and context-specific health systems in fragile and conflict-affected settings. The TWG’s support of the special issue of Conflict and Health – Filling the void: Health systems in fragile and conflict affected states, has already provided an accessible outlet for publishing some new and innovative research in this area, and the group is hoping further to expand the participation and scope of the discussions through its recent call for proposals to host meetings in locations beyond the normal conference and meeting circuit.

You can join the Thematic Working Group on Health Systems Research in Fragile and Conflict Affected States. And check back here soon for a video of Tim Martineau, Research Director at ReBUILD, talking about the development and the work of the TWG.

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