Innogen · News · July 25, 2009

Technologies for Health Systems Strengthening (THeSyS) Seminar Success

The Open University

Innogen, in partnership with the Open University's Centre for Innovation, Knowledge and Development (IKD) and WaterAid, hosted the Inaugural Seminar of the Technologies for Health Systems Strengthening Workstream (THeSyS).


The seminar entitled ‘Interdisciplinarity, partnerships and making bioscience innovations in health work for the poor: what lessons can be shared between the North and the South?’ was held at the Open University Campus in Camden Town, London on Monday 6th July 2009.


The seminar was attended by approximately 30 participants from academia, civil society organisations and the embassies of some developing countries. Water, sanitation and child mortality were central topics of discussion and the seminar raised pertinent questions about stengthening health systems around the world.


Issues include the complexity and pervasive nature of health, hence the need for interdisciplinary approaches; how health agendas are often overshadowed by other agendas at global and national levels (for example the current focus on the global financial crisis and climate change); the importance of power, politics, ownership and incentives (among others) in sustaining agendas towards health system strengthening.


Meanwhile, from both academic and policy perspectives, there was need for clear definitions and understandings of what health systems were, and what strengthening them would entail.


This also links to the methodologies and mechanisms for evaluating the impact of health system strengthening, a key element of the THeSyS workstream.   


A number of suggestions were made by the participants on possible topics for future seminars and events. The next seminar will be held in autumn; topic and venue to be advised in due course. Meanwhile, the website http://thesys.open.ac.uk/ remains active for interactions on health system strengthening issues.


For additional information, please contact Dr Julius Mugwagwa.