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Health Systems Strengthening: Rethinking the Role of Innovation

Globelics report

Hanlin, R   Andersen, MH

October 2016

Aalborg Universitet

This report is the fourth in a series of Globelics Thematic Review reports prepared during the period 2011 to 2016. The objective of the Globelics Thematic Reviews is to communicate insights from the community of scholars in the Global Network for the Economics of Learning, Innovation, and Competence Building Systems (Globelics) to policy circles and development donor organisations.

The Globelics Thematic Reviews constitute a commitment made to the Swedish International Development Corporation (Sida) in connection with a 2011 grant for the Globelics Secretariat located at Aalborg University. The reviews give an overview of research outcomes related to a particular topic as well as reflections on policy implications.

Previous reports have focused on innovation and development, innovation for low carbon energy development and innovation for natural resource management. This year’s report focuses on health systems strengthening and the role of innovation. Rebecca Hanlin and Margrethe Holm Andersen wrote the report, which also counts on contributions by Bengt-Åke Lundvall (foreword) and Joanna Chataway (post-script).

The report was developed over a 16-month period from March 2015 to July 2016 and essentially argues for three things as outlined below. The first two of these, in and of themselves, aren’t new thinking, but the way they have been considered together brings a new perspective:
- A broader definition of health that encompasses issues of wellbeing and livelihoods
- A broader definition of innovation that acknowledges the importance of social (organisational, process and systems) innovation
- A new analytical framework for addressing how to strengthening health systems that brings in these two wider definitions