Title : Evaluation of the National Unified Health Research Agenda 2017- 2022
Health systems are under increasing pressure to implement interventions that will improve population health. The 58th World Health Assembly in 2004 and the 2008 Bamaka Call to Action emphasized the use of evidence as an essential priority to achieve health equity. The attainment of high-quality research begins with a strong national health research system that generates, disseminates, and uses evidence. Research agendas have been shown to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of research investments, strengthen health research systems, and harmonize research priorities across stakeholders. Despite recognition of research agendas as an important tool for health improvement and resource optimization, most of these do not include an evaluation plan.
First published in 2006, the Philippine National Unified Health Research Agenda (NUHRA) is intended to guide national health research activity, generate research support, and promote the translation of research into practice. Its most recent version, the NUHRA 2017-2022, was informed by international, national, and regional research priorities. In its 5th year of implementation, this evaluation is being undertaken to 1) determine if intended NUHRA 2017-2022 outputs occurred as planned and 2) inform future NUHRA research priority-setting.
This evaluation uses a mixed methods design with a triangulation, convergence model approach. An evaluation plan was developed based on a literature review of global research agenda evaluation literature and policy review of NUHRA implementation and management of health research. Secondary quantitative data collection focused on research output metrics from all regions of the Philippines. Primary data was collected through 40 key informant interviews of national and regional health research council members, NUHRA implementers, and researchers. Data will be analyzed through descriptive and thematic analysis using an abductive approach.
The evaluation will be completed by July 2022.
Results and Discussion
The results will identify:
· Stakeholder awareness of the research agenda
· The influence of NUHRA 2017-2022 in setting health research direction
· Funding of research aligned with the agenda
· The extent to which the intended results of agenda were delivered and achieved
· Key factors, good practices, and challenges in research agenda implementation
The results will also be discussed in the context of health, political, and socio-economic changes that have occurred since 2017, particularly any midterm revisions to the NUHRA and the impact of COVID-19.
Audience Take Away:
- National research agenda evaluations, at least in published literature, are uncommon. But research agendas are increasingly recognized as a crucial first step in evidence-to-policy translation, particularly in ensuring that efficient research investments are made. The audience can learn the following from this evaluation:
- How a national health research agenda can influence national and institutional health research direction, funding, and health policy/program design and implementation
- How the implementation design of a national research agenda affects the attainment of its goals/objectives
- Learn lessons on
- Advocating a national research agenda to research stakeholders
- Ensuring sustained relevance of a national health research agenda through changing context
- Health research grant management systems and monitoring research aligned with a national health research agenda
The role a national health research agenda plays in evidence-based decision-making