Health

Individuals, communities and societies face a number of health challenges associated with rapid and accelerating social, economic, demographic and ecological change. These have been manifested in major outbreaks of infectious diseases, a growing problem of chronic, non-communicable disease and the continued existence of large numbers of people living in poverty and vulnerable to a wide variety of potential shocks. There is the growing realisation that the world's population is interconnected and health challenges are faced by rich and poor countries alike.

A home care worker from the Mulanje Mission Hospital, Malawi, crushes antibiotics before applying them to the tumour on Patrick Mandeule's leg. Credit
Kieran Dodds / Panos

IDS research and knowledge activities to address these challenges on health revolve around resilience, accountability, urbanisation and digital innovation for health system transformation.

1. Resilience

The speed of economic, social, technological and ecological change is likely to accelerate in the future. This will make the contribution of the health sector to social resilience increasingly important. The Ebola epidemic in West Africa and Zika in Latin America have demonstrated the importance of an effective and resilient health system in protecting people against catastrophic health shocks. The transmission of infections from animals to humans and the growing challenge of resistance to antibiotics demonstrate the need to take into account the wider social and ecological challenges in designing intervention strategies to build resilient health systems.

2. Accountability

Health inequities - that is, unfair and avoidable difference in health associated with poverty, gender inequalities and other factors that marginalise large numbers of people. Innovative approaches are needed that recognise changing roles of states, private actors and community and social organisations, and the interaction between local, national and global levels. If existing weaknesses in governance and accountability arrangements are not tackled, the effort to achieve Universal Health Coverage as part of the fairer world envisaged in the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is unlikely to be achieved.

3. Urban

With more than half of humanity now living in urban areas, and with the urban population in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, two of the world's poorest regions, set to double in the next two decade, there is an urgent need for strategies that enable people to live safely in these rapidly growing cities. These include the provision of decent hygiene and sanitation, context-appropriate forms of disease containment, measures to ensure access to safe, effective and affordable medical care and the recognition of the peri-urban poor as legitimate citizens.

4. Digital innovation

Information and Communication technologies (ICTs) are going to have a major impact on health and health systems in the near future. To ensure that everyone (including the very poor) benefits from this new technology, it is vital that those designing new applications, people responsible for health systems and social researchers come together to explore the opportunities and potential challenges, especially for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

< previous 1 2 next >
Photo of Alex Shankland, IDS Research Fellow More details

Photo of IDS researcher Amber Huff More details

Photo of Annie Lowden More details

Photo of Annie Wilkinson More details

Aparna John, DPhil Candidate, Health and Nutrition Cluster, Institute of Development Studies More details

Photo of Becky Mitchell More details

Photo of Cathérine Müller, Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction research team More details

Photo of Catherine Holley,  Information Officer for the Human Development Resource Centre (HDRC) in IDS Knowledge Services. More details

Photo of Gerry Bloom, Research Fellow of the Knowledge Technology and Society team More details

Photo of Hayley MacGregor More details

Photo of Henry Lucas from Knowledge Technology and Society Team More details

More details

Photo of Inka Barnett More details

Photo of Jackie Shaw, Research Fellow in the Participation research cluster More details

Photo of Jerker Edstrom More details

Jody Harris photo More details

Leah Murphy is the Health and Education Convenor with the Knowledge Services More details

Photo of Linda Waldman, KNOTS Research Fellow More details

Photo of Melissa Leach, IDS Director More details

Photo of Nick Nisbett, IDS Research Fellow in the Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction team More details

< previous 1 2 next >
< previous 1 2 next >

Non-communicable diseases and development: Future Pathways

This project examines the impact of the rise of non-communicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries. More details

Protecting the rural poor against the economic consequences of major illness

Major illness in the family has become an important cause of household impoverishment in China and the ex-command economies of Southeast Asia, as these countries have managed the transition to a market economy. More details

Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability (STEPS) Centre

The STEPS Centre is an interdisciplinary global research and policy engagement hub, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. It aims to develop a new approach to understanding, action and communication on sustainability and development. More details

UK-Brazil Learning Exchange on Food and Nutrition Policy

IDS and Food Foundation partner with Brazilian researchers to explore mutual learning on food and nutrition security policy, bringing together parliamentarians, civil society and policy actors to discuss best practice. More details

Unequal Voices: The Politics of Accountability for Equity in Health Systems

The Unequal Voices project - Vozes Desiguais in Portuguese - examines the politics of accountability in health systems in Brazil and Mozambique, exploring how accountability can be used to deliver better health services for citizens everywhere. More details

< previous 1 2 next >

View all Research Theme's publications

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


first < previous 1 2 3 4 5 next > last
IDS publications on international development research

Effectiveness of Leadership Capacity Building in the Health Sector

It is argued that the most effective types of capacity building processes to improve leadership skills in the health sector are monthly intensive training More details

Inception Report: External evaluation of mobile phone technology-based nutrition and agriculture advisory services in Africa and South Asia

The GSM Association (GSMA), working with a wide range of mobile network operators and civil society organisations, is launching a series of nutrition-focused m-health and m-agriculture initiatives in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. GSMA refers to nutrition-enhanced initiatives collectively as ‘m-nutrition’. This report summarises the plans for an impact evaluation of two of these nutrition-enhanced initiatives: mHealth in Tanzania and mAgri in Ghana. More details

Using a business model and cost-effectiveness analysis to evaluate mobile phone technology based nutrition and agriculture advisory services in Tanzania and Ghana

This methodological brief focuses on the business model and cost effectiveness analysis component of the mNutrition evaluation and is led by Gamos. More details

This is the front cover to IDS Health Briefing 1, 'Tackling Antibiotic Resistance'.

Tackling Antibiotic Resistance

Health Briefing 1 (2017)

In today’s world, drug resistant infections travel and spread as quickly as planes do. Therefore it is in the UK’s interest to tackle AMR and to help other countries to do the same. More details

Improving Rural Lives Through the Liberian Motorbike Boom

Parallel to the mobile phone revolution in Africa is the lesser talked about motorbike boom. Motorbike taxis have changed the face of transport and provided employment opportunities, particularly in rural parts, in many African countries. More details

Reducing Teenage Pregnancy in Sierra Leone

Research directly involving teenagers and their families in Sierra Leone to reduce teenage pregnancy has helped pave the way for a new community-friendly Child and Family Welfare Policy. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Antimicrobial Resistance and Universal Health Coverage

The WHO launched a Global Action Plan on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in 2015, with AMR being declared a global crisis by world leaders in the G7, G20 and the UN General Assembly. World leaders have also adopted universal health coverage (UHC) as a key target under the sustainable development goals. This paper argues that neither initiative is likely to succeed in isolation from the other and that the policy goals should be to both provide access to appropriate antimicrobial treatment and reduce the risk of the emergence and spread of resistance by taking a systems approach. More details

IDS publications on international development research

“Unpicking Power and Politics for Transformative Change: Towards Accountability for Health Equity” Workshop Report

While “accountability” has become an increasingly popular buzzword in health systems debates and health service delivery, it has multiple – and contested – meanings. This is a report of an IDS international workshop which brought together 80-plus activists, researchers, public health practitioners and policy makers who critically examined the forces that shape accountability in health systems, from local to global levels. More details

Using quantitative methods to evaluate mobile phone technology based nutrition and agriculture advisory services in Ghana

This brief focuses on the quantitative impact evaluation in Ghana, led by IFPRI; a key component of the mNutrition impact evaluation. More details

Using quantitative methods to evaluate mobile phone technology based nutrition and agriculture advisory services in Tanzania

This brief focuses on the quantitative component of the impact evaluation of mNutrition in Tanzania, led by IDS, GAMOS and IFPRI. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Experiences of Using a Participatory Action Research Approach to Strengthen District Local Capacity in Eastern Uganda

To achieve a sustained improvement in health outcomes, the way health interventions are designed and implemented is critical. A participatory action research approach (PAR) is applauded for building local capacity such as health management, thereby increasing the chances of sustaining health interventions. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Characteristics of Community Savings Groups in Rural Eastern Uganda: Opportunities for Improving Access to Maternal Health Services

The objective of this study is to understand organizational characteristics, benefits and challenges of savings groups in rural Uganda. More details

IDS publications on international development research

‘Nurture the Sprouting Bud; Do Not Uproot It’. Using Saving Groups to Save for Maternal and Newborn Health: Lessons from Rural Eastern Uganda

This paper describes saving practices, factors that encourage and constrain saving with saving groups, and lessons learnt while supporting communities to save through saving groups. More details

Cover -  Theme issue ‘One Health for a changing world: zoonoses, ecosystems and human well-being

Theme issue 'One Health for a Changing World: zoonoses, ecosystems and human well-being'

Pholosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 372.1725 (2017)

A Special Theme Issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, ‘One Health for a Changing World: zoonoses, ecosystems and human well-being’, showcases work produced by the Drivers of Disease Consortium. More details

Wp490_FrontCover

Accountability in Health Systems and the Potential of mHealth

IDS Working Paper 490 (2017)

The rapid spread of information and communication technologies (ICTs) (and of mobile phones in particular) across low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) has generated considerable excitement in development circles regarding their potential to revolutionise service delivery in health systems. More details

Independent Evaluation of the Reduction of Maternal and Neonatal Mortality in Kenya: Formative Evaluation Findings

This brief presents the formative evaluation findings of the Independent Evaluation of the Reduction of Maternal and Neonatal Mortality in Kenya More details

This is the front cover of MAVC Research Report ICT-facilitated accountability and engagement in health systems: a review of Making All Voices Count mHealth for accountability projects.

ICT-Facilitated Accountability and Engagement in Health Systems: a Review of Making All Voices Count mHealth for Accountability Projects

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) and mHealth innovations hold great potential to improve health systems and health outcomes while at the same time enhancing citizen engagement and accountability. Yet there has been little assessment of the impact of mHealth innovations on the ground. More details

first < previous 1 2 3 4 5 next > last
first < previous 1 2 3 4 5 next > last

Urban wellbeing, mental health and the Syrian refugee crisis

09 Oct 2017
By Dolf te Lintelo, Emma Soye

Naming the moment

04 Oct 2017
By Erica Nelson

Playboy, porn and sex education

28 Sep 2017
By Kelly Shephard

Racing the clock to save mothers and protect newborns in Uganda

19 Sep 2017
By Stefan Swartling Peterson
first < previous 1 2 3 4 5 next > last