SUPPLEMENT LAUNCH! Advancing health systems for all in an SDG era

Health Systems Global and Health Policy and Planning are pleased to announce the publication of a special supplement – Advancing health systems for all in an SDG era. How did this supplement arise? The Fifth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research (HSR2018), hosted by Health Systems Global (HSG) and organized in partnership with the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research (AHPSR) and a consortium of UK organizations led by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine took place between 8-12 October 2018 with the theme of Advancing health systems for all in an SDG era.

There were a total of 125 parallel sessions, 82 satellite and skills-building sessions, and 451 poster presentations. As was the case after the Fourth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research, Health Systems Global and Health Policy and Planning have collaborated to distil the work of HSR2018 into a supplement to give a flavour of the rich debates and discussions which took place there. A year on from the HSR2018 Symposium, we are pleased to announce the launch of this special issue, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Global Ideas Fund at CAF America. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of CAF America or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

This supplement consists of:

  • 12 papers presenting original research and one commentary, accompanied by one editorial
  • Papers presenting global level, cross-country analysis, as well as studies from the national and local levels
  • Studies relating service-specific concerns – such as antibiotic use and medicine adherence for HIV and hypertension, but also cross-cutting system-level issues such as quality of care and health worker performance
  • Papers applying a variety of methods including quantitative analysis of large datasets, systematic literature review and qualitative methods such as focus groups, semi-structured interviews and document review.

Edited by co-editor of Health Policy and Planning, Dr Virginia Wiseman, the collection of papers in this supplement demonstrate the tremendous diversity of topics, disciplinary perspectives and research approaches that make up the field of Health Policy and Systems Research (HPSR). The papers provide useful entry points to the broader discussions and debates which are shaping the field, and signal some of the directions in which the field of HPSR is likely to evolve in the future.


  • Editorial: 5th Global Symposium on Health Systems Research
  • Commentary: Advancing a Culture of Health
  • Original manuscript: Methodological gaps and opportunities for studying multisectoral collaboration for health in low and middle income countries
  • Original manuscript: Global aid for nutrition specific and sensitive interventions and proportion of stunted children across low and middle-income countries: does aid matter?
  • Original manuscript: Is ‘Health for All’ synonymous with ‘antibiotics for all’: changes in antibiotic prescribing in a Performance-based Financing pilot in Zanzibar
  • Original manuscript: “Blood pressure can kill you tomorrow, but HIV gives you time”: Illness perceptions and treatment experiences among Malawian individuals living with HIV and hypertension
  • Original manuscript: Diabetes epidemics: inequalities increase the burden on the healthcare system
  • Original manuscript: Impact of integrated health care: Taiwan’s Family Doctor Plan
  • Original manuscript: Assessing health system performance: Effective coverage at the Mexican Institute of Social Security
  • Original manuscript: Going operational with health systems governance: supervision and incentives to health workers for increased quality of care in Tanzania
  • Original manuscript: Are people-centred mental health services acceptable and feasible in Timor-Leste? A qualitative study
  • Original manuscript: Use of evidence and negotiation in the review of national Standard Treatment Guidelines and Essential Medicines List: experience from Ghana
  • Original manuscript: Can institutional entrepreneurship strengthen clinical governance and quality improvement: A case study of a District-based Clinical Specialist Team in South Africa
  • Original manuscript: Health Systems for All in the SDG Era: Key reflections based on the Liverpool Statement for the Fifth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research

Image credit: Toby Phillips Photography


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