Embedding Research on Implementation of Primary Health Care Systems Strengthening: A Commentary on Collaborative Experiences in Ethiopia, Ghana, and Mozambique

September, 2022

To achieve universal health coverage (UHC) despite financial, human, and infrastructural resource constraints, sub-Saharan African country health systems must implement primary health care (PHC) policies and delivery strategies that are evidence based. Currently, PHC policy and implementation research are limited, particularly relative to the scope and severity of primary health and systems challenges in sub-Saharan Africa. Most research output focusing on health care delivery and health systems comes from research institutions based in other continents. Accordingly, global calls have directed attention to the need to build research capacity and leadership in sub-Saharan Africa at the institutional and leadership levels. These initiatives have advanced a vision of situating research within health systems and communities in a manner that addresses structural inequities, maximizes the benefits of new knowledge for staff of local health systems, and enhances the role of “research consumers” in the design and use of research. This programmatic review and analysis aims to identify the core features and processes that characterized how the partnerships operationalized the embedded implementation research approach and understand the factors that helped and constrained partnerships’ effective use of this approach in Ethiopia, Ghana, and Mozambique.

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