Having an effective health system is essential to pro-poor development but it is a complex challenge. IDS research starts from the experience and innovations emerging within developing countries themselves rather than seeking to export models from the OECD countries.
Five key areas of research and policy
IDS research, information services and policy advisory
activities on health and rapid change are organised around five key areas of
research and policy concern:
1. The challenge of pluralistic health systems
In many developing countries, health services are delivered by a range of service providers and actors. In these settings, how can institutional arrangements for ensuring quality and affordability be developed and how can people access safe and reliable health-related goods and services? What are the implications for strategies for financing health services?
2. The changing nature of regulation and the role of government
How has the spread of markets and integration into the global economy affected the role of government in the health sector? What kinds of regulatory partnerships are emerging, who are the power brokers and what are the implications for policy processes? How can health services be made accountable to the people who use them.
3. Health in the knowledge economy
The rapid spread of the mass media, mobile telephone networks and the internet is creating new ways for people to get access to medical information and advice without visiting a doctor. How can these developments benefit poor people? What new regulatory challenges do they pose?
4. Rights, entitlements and equity
In contexts of rapid social, economic and ecological change, new patterns of inequality and exclusion are emerging. How can government commitments to 'universal access' be translated into effective rights to safe and effective health services? How can societies meet the rising expectations of people who are benefiting from economic development, while ensuring that the rights and needs of 'hard to reach' people are addressed?
5. The changing pattern of disease
The world is facing a rapid increase in a number of chronic non-communicable diseases. What aspects of development are contributing to this rapid increase? What can be done to help households cope when a family member becomes seriously ill or disabled? How can health systems change to enable very large numbers of people to manage a chronic, progressive disease?
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