At the First Global Symposium on Health Systems Research, hosted by the World Health Organization, the Health Policy Monitor was presented as a tool to capture health policy innovation and a potential approach to share health policy dialogue and reform options among low and middle income countries.
The challenges and the chances of systematic health policy reporting were at the core of this Symposium's satellite session hosted by the Health Policy Monitor.
Sophia Schlette, founder and director of the HPM, together with long-standing Health Policy Monitor contributors from South Korea, Soonman Kwon, and from Switzerland, Luca Crivelli, spoke about their work, their motivation, and the HPM's potential to advance health policy analysis and dialogue in their respective countries, ideally improving policy making and avoiding the errors from the past.
Commentators were Tim Evans, from BRAC University, and Wim van Lerberghe, of the World Health Organization, who co-chaired the session.
There is now increasing recognition worldwide that politics matters in health care policy making, however opportunistic. To put it mildly, for too long the policy dimension in health care has been neglected. Health experts with a considerable research expertise, yet predominantly number-driven and with economists, public health specialists, and physicians in their rows, have provided necessary but not sufficient evidence - and hardly any how-to advice to advance health care solutions and healthy policy decisions in low and middle income countries.
Under the auspices of the World Health Organization and partnering organizations, researchers, policy-makers, funders, and other stakeholders representing diverse constituencies gathered in Montreux, Switzerland to share evidence, identify significant knowledge gaps, and set a research agenda that reflects the needs of low and middle-income countries with a view to health policy and health system thinking.