By Yotamu Chirwa and Nick Hooton
With the support of the Wellcome Trust the Thematic Working Group on Health Systems in Fragile and Conflict Affected States has provided a series of grants to organisations in fragile or post-conflict/post crisis countries to deepen our engagement by encouraging a series of stakeholder meetings. These meetings are meant to stimulate thinking and provide us with further information on practical real life challenges from fragile and conflict-affected audiences in diverse settings. We heard from the first grantees, the Ministry of Health in Liberia, in a recent blog.
In Zimbabwe the Biomedical Research and Training Institute (BRTI) is the recipient of the second grant. They are organising a forum on “Removing cross-sectoral inequities in incentives to achieve system wide benefits for retention of health workers”. The forum will be a research communication and uptake initiative exploring incentive environments during and after the severe social, political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe, which is a component of the ReBUILD research programme.
Participants will include national level managers, human resources managers, associations of private hospitals and health professionals, and represent four health service sub sectors: public, rural district council/municipalities, mission and private. These stakeholders are responsible for formulation and implementation of incentive policies and the post-crisis effort of stabilising health worker availability in their respective sectors. Government working groups on Universal Health Coverage and on Human Resources in the Ministry of Health and Child Care will also be involved in the forum, as will donors working in the districts where BRTI’s studies were conducted, and non-governmental organisations involved in health research and advocacy on access and equity in health.
BRTI have identified key actors and stakeholders with potential to assist in translating the research findings into policy as well as capacity to support evidence-based policy formulation. The forum will be an initial effort in engaging policy makers with evidence from BRTI and others, and in establishing communication lines for further interaction, including the development of policy briefs. The forum will also include a session presented by the Zimbabwe Evidence-Informed Policy Network on their experiences supporting policy makers to make evidence-based decisions. The long-term output of the meeting will be the further development of a network of individuals, groups, policy makers, health workers and stakeholders concerned with health in post crisis situations who will interact using various platforms.
Watch this space for BRTI’s meeting report and further updates.