The HSG Social science approaches for research and engagement in health policy & systems (SHaPeS) TWG, Regional Network for Equity in Health in East and Southern Africa (EQUINET), and HSG Emerging Voices for Global Health TWG have jointly written an open letter, published in the International Journal for Equity in Health. This letter, with 170 co-signatories, calls for more serious recognition of the value of qualitative research, including to disseminate evidence and contribute voice to advance equity in health.
The letter starts:
“An open letter from Trisha Greenhalgh et al. to the editors of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) triggered wide debate by health policy and systems researchers (HPSRs) globally on the inadequate recognition of the value of qualitative research and the resulting deficit in publishing papers reporting on qualitative research. One key dimension of equity in health is that researchers are able to disseminate their findings and that they are taken into account in a fair and just manner, so that they can inform health policy and programmes. The Greenhalgh et al. letter and editorial responses were actively discussed within “SHAPES”, a thematic group within Health Systems Global, focused on Social Science approaches for research and engagement in health policy & systems and within EQUINET, a regional network working on health equity research in East and Southern Africa. Our discussion precipitated in this follow up open letter/commentary, which has 170 co-signatories. Collectively, we feel that barriers to publication of qualitative research limit publication of many exemplary studies, and their contribution to understanding important dimensions of health care, services, policies and systems.”