Future Health Systems Research Programme Consortium

Future Health Systems is a research consortium working to improve access, affordability and quality of health services for the poor. We are a partnership of leading research institutes from across the globe working in a variety of contexts: in low-income countries (Bangladesh, Uganda), middle-income countries (China, India) and fragile states (Afghanistan) to build resilient health systems for the future.

Future Health Systems - Innovations for equity

After a successful first five-year phase from 2006-2011 (see our success stories), we are entering a new six-year phase of research, funded mainly by the UK Department of International Development (DFID).

Visit the Future Health Systems website

Health Systems Global Communications

IDS is working with Health Systems Global (HSG) to develop communications, share messages and engage with its members and the global community. More details

Future Health Systems Research Programme Consortium

Future Health Systems is a research consortium working to improve access, affordability and quality of health services for the poor. More details

AllAfrica and IDS development reporting initiative

IDS and AllAfrica have teamed up to produce and distribute compelling multi-media content on critical issues for Africa’s future, as part of a development reporting initiative. More details

View all Research Programme's publications

Use this search to display this programme's publications and filter by journal, author, country and much more.


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IDS publications on international development research

Disparity in Reimbursement for Tuberculosis Care Among Different Health Insurance Schemes: Evidence from Three Counties in Central China

Infectious Diseases of Poverty 5 (2017)

Health inequity is an important issue all around the world. The Chinese basic medical security system comprises three major insurance schemes, namely the Urban Employee Basic Medical Insurance (UEBMI), the Urban Resident Basic Medical Insurance (URBMI), and the New Cooperative Medical Scheme (NCMS). Little research has been conducted to look into the disparity in payments among the health insurance schemes in China. More details

This is the front cover to IDS Rapid Response Briefing 16, 'What Does the End of Africa's Boom Mean for Universal Health Coveage?'

What Does the End of Africa's Boom Mean for Universal Health Coverage?

IDS Rapid Response Briefing 16 (2017)

Achieving universal health coverage by 2030, as stated in UN Global Goal 3, will require substantial increases in health spending and the proportion funded through taxation or social insurance to make health care affordable for all. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Health Systems Research in a Complex and Rapidly Changing Context: Ethical Implications of Major Health Systems Change at Scale

Developing World Bioethics 16.3 (2016)

This paper discusses health policy and systems research in complex and rapidly changing contexts. It focuses on ethical issues at stake for researchers working with government policy makers to provide evidence to inform major health systems change at scale, particularly when the dynamic nature of the context and ongoing challenges to the health system can result in unpredictable outcomes. More details

IDS publications on international development research

How Can Health Systems Research Reach the Worst-Off? A Conceptual Exploration

BMC Health Services Research 16 (2016)

Health systems research is increasingly being conducted in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Such research should aim to reduce health disparities between and within countries as a matter of global justice. For such research to do so, ethical guidance that is consistent with egalitarian theories of social justice proposes it ought to (amongst other things) focus on worst-off countries and research populations. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Exploring Pathways for Building Trust in Vaccination and Strengthening Health System Resilience

BMC Health Services Research 16 (2016)

Trust is critical to generate and maintain demand for vaccines in low and middle income countries. However, there is little documentation on how health system insufficiencies affect trust in vaccination and the process of re-building trust once it has been compromised. We reflect on how disruptions to immunizations systems can affect trust in vaccination and can compromise vaccine utilization. More details

IDS publications on international development research

What is the Role of Community Capabilities for Maternal Health? An Exploration of Community Capabilities as Determinants to Institutional Deliveries in Bangladesh, India, and Uganda

BMC Health Services Research 16 (2016)

While community capabilities are recognized as important factors in developing resilient health systems and communities, appropriate metrics for these have not yet been developed. Furthermore, the role of community capabilities on access to maternal health services has been underexplored. More details

IDS publications on international development research

How is Perceived Community Cohesion and Membership in Community Groups Associated with Children’s Dietary Adequacy in Disadvantaged Communities? A Case of the Indian Sundarbans

BMC Health Services Research 16 (2016)

Membership in community groups and a sense of community cohesion may facilitate collective action in mobilizing resources towards better health outcomes. This paper explores the relationship of these factors, along with individual level socio-economic variables, to dietary adequacy among children below 6 years of age, a proximate determinant of child malnutrition. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Unlocking Community Capabilities Across Health Systems in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Lessons Learned from Research and Reflective Practice

BMC Health Services Research 16 (2016)

The right and responsibility of communities to participate in health service delivery was enshrined in the 1978 Alma Ata declaration and continues to feature centrally in health systems debates today. Communities are a vital part of people-centred health systems and their engagement is critical to realizing the diverse health targets prioritised by the Sustainable Development Goals and the commitments made to Universal Health Coverage. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Unlocking Community Capabilities for Improving Maternal and Newborn Health: Participatory Action Research to Improve Birth Preparedness, Health Facility Access, and Newborn Care in Rural Uganda

BMC Health Services Research 16 (2016)

Community capacities and resources must be harnessed to complement supply side initiatives addressing high maternal and neonatal mortality rates in Uganda. This paper reflects on gains, challenges and lessons learnt from working with communities to improve maternal and newborn health in rural Uganda. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Unlocking Community Capability Through Promotion of Self-Help for Health: Experience from Chakaria, Bangladesh

BMC Health Services Research 16 (2016)

This paper describes the project’s implementation, impact, and reflective learnings. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Expressing Collective Voices on Children’s Health: Photovoice Exploration with Mothers of Young Children from the Indian Sundarbans

BMC Health Services Research 16 (2016)

The Indian Sundarbans is marked by inhospitable terrain and frequent climatic shocks which jointly hinder access to health care. Community members, and women in particular, have few means to communicate their concerns to local decision makers. Photovoice is one way in which communities can raise their local health challenges with decision makers. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Identifying Community Healthcare Supports for the Elderly and the Factors Affecting their Aging Care Model Preference: Evidence From Three Districts of Beijing

BMC Health Services Research 16 (2016)

The Chinese tradition of filial piety, which prioritized family-based care for the elderly, is transitioning and elders can no longer necessarily rely on their children. The purpose of this study was to identify community support for the elderly, and analyze the factors that affect which model of old-age care elderly people dwelling in communities prefer. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Synergies, Strengths and Challenges: Findings on Community Capability from a Systematic Health Systems Research Literature Review

BMC Health Services Research 16 (2016)

Community capability is the combined influence of a community’s social systems and collective resources that can address community problems and broaden community opportunities. We frame it as consisting of three domains that together support community empowerment: what communities have; how communities act; and for whom communities act. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Enhancing Social Accountability for Health Care in Afghanistan

Future Health Systems Stories of Change 3 (2016)

In the United States and parts of Africa and Asia, community scorecards (CSCs) have improved accountability and responsiveness of services. Work supported by Future Health Systems (FHS) sought to evaluate CSC feasibility in a fragile context (Afghanistan) through joint engagement of service providers and community members in the design of patient-centred services, to assess impact on service delivery and perceived quality of care (QOC). More details

IDS publications on international development research

Through the Lens: Empowering Women in Vulnerable Communities to Voice their Concerns

Participatory Action Research (PAR) methodologies can help empower marginalised groups to capture and articulate their experiences and concerns to decision-makers. Future Health Systems (FHS) has worked with women in the Sundarbans of West Bengal to use Photovoice – a PAR method using photographs and narrative – to raise awareness of the challenges the women face to access health care. The initiative has led local policymakers and health workers to prioritise, and take steps to address, the issues. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Saving Money, Saving Lives: Community Saving Groups Lead to Improvements in Maternal and Newborn Health Care in Uganda

Future Health Systems Stories of Change 6 (2016)

Future Health Systems (FHS) work on maternal and newborn health in the poorest districts of eastern Uganda has contributed to a story of community empowerment where people have learnt to prioritise, prepare and save money for childbirth. This increases the likelihood of delivery in a health facility, and therefore the chances of a healthy pregnancy and safe childbirth under skilled care. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Strengthening Capacity to Enhance Delivery: Implementation of Payment Reform in China

Future Health Systems Stories of Change 5 (2016)

In 2002, China launched a voluntary health insurance scheme to provide financial protection to people affected by disease-related illness. Future Health Systems (FHS) work in Hanbin County, western China, has drawn on innovative methods from implementation and participatory research to train and support local policymakers, managers and health professionals in the evidence-based implementation of the scheme. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Applying Systems Thinking to Strengthen Health Systems

Future Health Systems Stories of Change 2 (2016)

Systems thinking represents a unique theoretical and practical contribution. It facilitates ways to cross disciplines, and brings previously unused tools and approaches to tackle global health implementation differently. Future Health Systems (FHS) has played a major role in applying and advocating for the approach as a means to holistically understand health systems in low- and middle-income countries, as well as adaptation and scale-up of the project’s interventions. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Working with Health Workers to Improve Maternal Health Services

Poor quality of maternal and newborn health services in Uganda have resulted in low maternal health service utilisation and high newborn mortality rates, both at home and at health facilities. The support Future Health Systems (FHS) provided to health workers to improve maternal health service delivery illustrates how a package of interventions that equips health workers with the necessary knowledge, skills and equipment, supplies and other non-financial incentives can improve the quality of maternal and newborn health service delivery. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Galvanising Gender Analysis and Practice in Health Systems

Future Health Systems Key Message Brief 4 (2016)

Gender analysis is an important component of health systems research (HSR) as it reveals how power relations create inequalities in health system needs, experiences, and outcomes among women, men, and people of other genders. Various challenges must be overcome to successfully mainstream gender into health systems practice and research. More details

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