Health

This collection of documents on health policy has been developed to support the work of researchers, policymakers, community members, and stakeholders who wish to contribute to greater access to quality healthcare through research and evidence-based policy development.

In South Africa healthcare funding mechanisms­, particularly national health insurance, are being researched and debated widely and this is reflected in the materials included in this section.


Related publications

The Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) is an international measure of poverty. Covering 109 developing countries, the MPI complements income poverty and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) measures by reflecting the acute deprivations that people face at the same time. It identifies people who contend with multiple deprivations across three dimensions: education, health, and living standards.

Innovative Medicines has produced 14 policy briefs on National Health Insurance to date­, with this background brief providing an overview of developments during 2010.
Guidelines for predicting political and institutional barriers to strengthening equitable health systems.
To date Econex has produced 13 health reform notes relating to the introduction of a national health insurance (NHI) system in South Africa.
Examines the shifts in training and employment patterns between 1997 and 2007.
To date Econex has released 13 policy notes on goverment's proposed National Health Insurance plan.
This policy brief draws policy makers’ attention to the demands and challenges in health financing for universal coverage, suggesting options.
­This policy brief uses the revised population and new information to update several policy briefs that projected future chronic disease and cancer in South Africa.­­
Relays some experiences from the Consortium for Research on Equitable Health Systems (CREHS) of getting research into policy and practice.
Reviews research seeking to document key influences over policy implementation - exercise of power by managers and frontline implementers and factors such as managerial trust and organisational culture.
Fact sheet which aims to introduce public health practitioners to the evaluation of deliberative processes.­
Policy brief dealing with the tax base in South Africa, based on annual tax statistics, which­ provide authoritative information on the taxes collected and the patterns by income level which can help with understanding how social security contributions for national health insurance (NHI) may­ be structured.
­To date Innovative Medicines South Africa has released 19 policy briefs on government's proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) plan. ­

Series of information sheets on healthcare funding and benefits in South Africa, Ghana, and Tanzania.

Issue 4 of the newsletter focuses on the issue of violent crime in South Africa. The newsletter aims to stimulate debate around evidence-based policy-making. To contribute to future editions plesae send your submissions to pan@hsrc.ac.za­.

Issue Three of the PAN newsletter focuses on the interface between child-centred evidence and related policy. It features a range of resources that illustrate how child-focused data and research evidence can contribute to and inform better outcomes for children when formulating social policy.
Policy brief on new evidence published in Lancet Infectious Diseases which shows safety and ­efficacy of combination antiretroviral drugs during pregnancy, delivery and breastfeeding and supports the 2010 revised WHO guidelines.
The 17th policy brief in a series which revisits ­the low income medical scheme (LIMS) recommendations that were made in 2006.
The 16th policy brief in a series which reviews universal coverage and issues related to having a national ­health service (NHS) alongside a mandatory health insurance system.
An HSRC policy brief on Millennium Development Goals relating to water, sanitation, education and health challenges facing the Southern African Development Community.
Reseach note which investigates the ANC proposal of funding the additional expenditure required for a national health insurance (NHI) system with an with an earmarked tax rather than using general taxation. Also discusses implications of the increase in personal tax.
A series of nine policy briefs on policy development and analysis aimed at breaking the cycle of mental ill­-health and poverty.
This briefing unpacks some details of the proposed national health insurance (NHI) scheme and provides an overview of some of the more pressing questions about it.­

This handbook provides Members of Parliament with information on children’s issues and their rights. Its purpose is to equip MPs with the tools to integrate a child-rights perspective into all work that Members engage with.

A series of 17 articles, each proposing a tool for use­ by those involved in finding and using research evidence to support evidence-informed health policymaking.
The main purpose of this handbook is to facilitate the investment process of a public research institute in developing a system (from the simplest to the most sophisticated) of monitoring and evaluation (M&E), and knowledge management (KM) of the impact of research on public policy.
A USAID initiative drawing on project experiences and lessons learned to design the Policy-to-Action Framework. Provides links to materials, ­country-specific policy implementation studies and other key policy resources.
Aims to provide analytical tools and resources to assist analysts and managers with policy development or service-planning projects.
Provides a definition of community resilience in the context of national health security and a set o­f eight levers and five core components for building resilience.
Sets out the key issues to consider when designing and managing evaluations, and the presentation and interpretation of evaluation results. Describes why thinking about evaluation before and during the policy design phase can help to improve the quality of evaluation results without needing to hinder the policy proce­ss.
Call for the development of a course which will improve  organizational capacity to influence public policies in developing countries - deadline 23 January 2011
A case book aimed at ensuring­ that managers are using evidence to make decisions and development stakeholders are able to keep track of progress.
Reviews international good practice for using data in policymaking and develops a conceptual framework for characterising and classifying the different elements of a data strategy for public sector orga­nisations.
­Revised indicators at the output, outcome and impact levels for HIV/AIDS.
A free, online, interactive tool, which maps and graphs more than 175 indicators from the World Bank’s development database.
Evidence-based approach for understanding, designing and evaluating health policies.
In the final issue of the PAN newsletter for 2011 ­we look at how the evaluation of government programmes can be invaluable in improving performance and service delivery.
A presentation outlining approaches to achieving research-based­ policies.

This is the first edition of the Policy > Action Network newsletter, From Evidence to Action, published with support from the Programme to Support Pro-Poor Policy Development (PSPPD), a partnership between the Presidency and the Eu­ropean Union.­

A conceptual framework to be used in the production of case studies which identify factors that help or hinder rigorous impact evaluations from influencing policy.

This report presents the findings of a research team’s analysis of a specially designed survey fielded in rural and urban areas of 5 South African provinces, supporting the rigorous impact assessment of how access to the CSG affects key aspects of child and adolescent well-being.  Also refer to the executive summary and the policy brief, South Africa’s Child Support Grant: Overall findings from an integrated qualitative-quantitative evaluation

The 2010 National Antenatal Sentinel HIV and Syphilis Prevalence Survey has been conducted for the past 21 years and is used as an instrument to measure HIV prevalence trends in South Africa since 1990.

Provisional article on equity focused health impact assessments (EFHIAs) used for ­enhancing the consideration of health equity in the development of policies, programmes and projects. Presents a case study of a rapid EFHIA that was conducted in Australia on a health promotion policy implementation plan.
Call for proposals to conduct a series of case studies to identify factors that contribute to or impede evidence from rigorous impact evaluations to influence policy(deadline is 28 February 2011).
­This database provides policymakers and practitioners with easy access to systematic reviews that examine evidence on the effects of social and economic development interventions in low- and middle-income countries. It draws together systematic reviews from a range of sources and covers all sectors.
Case studies commissioned for the World Conference on Social Determinants of Health which present successful examples of policy action aiming to reduce health inequities. ­­
An interview with Director of the Centre for Microbiology Research and Chief Research Officer, Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), Dr Njeri Wamae, about translating research into action, and successes and pitfalls of engaging with policy makers.
Highlights an important means to improve health equity: the growing ability of some developing countries to undertake health innovation.
A case study documentation of good practice examples of social protection for informal workers.
Explores the potential for reducing the schism between research and policy by examining the existing gap between research and policy action.
NDP 2030

The National Development Plan (NDP) aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030. According to the plan, South Africa can realise these goals by drawing on the energies of its people, growing an inclusive economy, building capabilities, enhancing the capacity of the state, and promoting leadership and partnerships throughout society. The popular version in all official languages and two-page illustrated versions are also available.

 

Presidency State of the Nation home page with additional information and links.­
This training programme is aimed at addressing human resources shortages in the public healthcare sector.
From the Department of Health's website.
Lists all those appointed to advise the health minister on National Heath Insurance ­and includes brief curriculum vitae.

Provides estimates of the costs of providing key interventions outlined in the National Strategic Plan­.

­The period for comment on the National Health Insurance Green Paper has been extended to 30 December 2011 – see attached Gazette­ notice.­
A guide to the National Health Act 61 of 2003 aimed at health workers and policymakers from the AIDS Law Project.
Document(s): PDF icon NHIGreenPaper.pdf
The government’s green paper on the NHI which is now available for public comment. It spells out plans for free healthcare for all citizens and permanent residents .

National health insurance discussion document prepared for the ANC's 2010 national general council.
The Presidency has published the National Evaluation Draft Policy Framework for public comment. Comments can be emailed to Dr Ian Goldman at ian@psppd.org.za by 30 September 2011. For enquiries call Dr Ian Goldman at (012) 308 1918. ­­
HSRC CEO Dr Olive Shisana responds to Jasson Urbach of the Free Market Foundation's article on national health insurance, A threat to healthcare.
Proposes that this strategy be adopted as the basis for strengthening the nursing  profession.
Adoption of global strategy on public health, innovation and intellectual property by the World Health Assembly.
This policy aims to set the research agenda, outline how health research is financed, contribute to capacity building, and ensure communication of research results. Note all Department of He­alth policies from 1995 to 2008.
This plan flows from the National Strategic Plan of 2000-2005 as well as the Operational Plan for Comprehensive HIV and AIDS Care, Management, and Treatment.

To contribute toward meeting global challenges around nutrition, the Global Nutrition Report seeks to monitor progress, accelerate nutrition action, and enhance accountability. Specifically, the report shows that if we are to build on existing successes certain key actions are necessary. Momentum for nutrition improvement is growing stronger at global and national levels. This commitment must be locked in for the future, multiplied exponentially, and converted into roal orientated activities.  declines. The Global Nutrition Report 2015 is driven by this imperative. The data and analysis in the report lead to six key messages and ten calls to action. Note supplementary online materials at the beginning of the report including indicators from UN member countries

The 20 Year Review synthesis report published in 2014 was informed by several thematic areas. These are regarded as focal areas to tell the story of South Africa’s progress since democracy. The 21 thematic background papers were written by officials in the Presidency and other government departments using research and other evidence to inform progress, sector developments and challenges still remaining. The body of work that went into developing these papers was extensive with the goal of understanding where we came from in order to inform South Africa’s future trajectory.  Each of the thematic papers was based on background papers which are available at the link above.

Stakeholder roles in the application of evidence are influenced by context, the nature of the evidence, the policy development process, and stakeholder interactions. Past research has highlighted the role of stakeholders in knowledge translation (KT) without paying adequate attention to the specifics of low-income countries. This paper identifies the roles, relations,and interactions among the key stakeholders involved in KT in Uganda and the challenges that they face.

This report argues that universal health coverage – with full access to high-quality services for prevention, treatment and financial risk protection – cannot be achieved without the evidence provided by scientific research. The World health report 2013 calls for:

  • Increased international and national investment and support in research aimed specifically at improving coverage of health services within and between countries.
  • Closer collaboration between researchers and policymakers, i.e. research needs to be taken outside the academic institutions and into public health programmes that are close to the supply of and demand for health services.
  • Countries to build research capacity by developing a local workforce of well-trained, motivated researchers.
  • Every country to have comprehensive codes of good research practice in place. Global and national research networks to coordinate research efforts by fostering collaboration and information exchange.

The aim of this report is to take up the National Planning Commission’s offer to engage with the National Development Plan Vision 2030. It ams to provide a constructively critical assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the policy proposals of the National Development Plan (NDP) and of the underlying diagnostic studies on which it is based.

This report presents the contemporary global context and charts a path for policymakers and citizens to navigate the increasing interconnec tedness of the world and to face the growing global challenges. It describes how the dynamics of power, voice and wealth in the world are changing and identifies new policies and institutions necessary to address these 21st century realities and promote human development with greater equity, sustainability and social integration. Identifies reforms necessary at both global and national level with an emphasis on building social cohesion, the need for state commitment to education, health and social protection, and openness to trade integration emerge as means of navigating towards sustainable and equitable human development.

Section 27 of the Constitution of South Africa guarantees the right to access healthcare services; this right places a legal obligation on the government to ensure that access to health is not hampered and to create conditions in which there is progressive realisation of the right to access healthcare services. The Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS), Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and Section27 gathered information from February 2012 to December 2012 and compiled a report showing how healthcare in Gauteng has declined. The report highlighted shortages in medication and staff, infrastructure collapsing, and misuse of funds; this resulted in access to health in Gauteng being compromised.

Public policy plays a key role in improving population health and in the control of diseases, including non-communicable diseases. However, an evidence-based approach to formulating healthy public policy has been difficult to implement, partly on account of barriers that hinder integrated work between researchers and policy-makers. This paper describes a 'policy effectiveness–feasibility loop' (PEFL) that brings together epidemiological modelling, local situation analysis and option appraisal to foster collaboration between researchers and policy-makers.

An annual production which monitors progress towards realising the rights of children, with this issue focusing on child health.
Citizen participation in policymaking and service design has been debated or attempted, but too infrequently realised. Considers current reform initiatives in the Australian Public Service (APS) and examines the implications of citizen-centric ideals for the processes and structures of government agencies.­
An initiative by the South African Institute of Race Relations which aims to track development trends in South Africa, and will be released on a quarterly basis. ­

Highlights policy innovations including expanded social protection programmes in Africa that are facilitating progress toward at­tainment of the Millennium Development Goals.

A report intended as an initial high-level paper to stimulate discussion amongst New Zealand policy advisors and policy makers.­
A collation ­of various positions on NHI compiled by Innovative Medicines South Africa.
How intellectual property provisions impact on medicines access in developing countries.
Considers the profile, image and status of nursing and the nature and role of nursing education.

Selected documents from this project conducted in partnership with the South African Centre for Health Policy­.

Summarises key South African debates about mandatory health insurance.
Assesses the progress made by South African cities over the last decade in relation to key development outcomes and reviews strategic problems and opportunities relating to planning and management­
Reviews the role of community health financing for protection against the impoverishing effects of illness.
Documentation from a series of community consultations on the proposed national health insurance system (NHI).
Reviews the changing patterns of science, and scientific collaboration, in order to provide a basis for understanding such ongoing changes. Aims to identify the opportunities and benefits of international collaboration, to consider how they can best be realised, and to initiate a debate on how international scientific collaboration can be harnessed to tackle global problems more effectively.
H­uman rights academic Jacob Mchangama argues that the political and legal ascendance of the right to health is unwarranted and counterproductive.
A biennial review of health policy and systems research from the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, an initiative of the Global Forum for Health Research in collaboration with the World Health Organization (2004).
A critical assessment of Ghana's current ­national health insurance system and the need to implement free health care for all citizens, with an executive summary. ­
Looks at what constitutes evidence in policy-making and models of policy-making in political science, to show how evidence is used or not to develop health public policy.
Planners typically do not possess all the knowledge required, so there is reason to consider policy formation with partial knowledge of policy impacts. Considers choice of a vaccination policywhen a planner has partial knowledge of the effect ­of vaccination on illness rates.
Opinion pieces on national health insurance from Health-e news service.
The World Health Organisation's annual compilation of health-related data for its 193 member states, and includes a summary of the progress made towards achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and associated targets.
Assembled collaboratively over the past year by several South African civil society organisations (CSOs), this report scrutinises the country’s track record in fighting corruption, managing diversity, addressing xenophobia and racism, managing elections, consolidating democracy and upholding the rule of law, as well as confronting social exclusion and effective service delivery. ­­
E­valuates Ghana's NHIS to determine whether it is fulfilling the needs for which it was established, by focusing on the health status of women.
Examines the global state of adolescents, outlines the challenges they face in health, education, protection and participation, and argues that investing in them now is our best hope of breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty and inequity and laying the foundation for a more peaceful, tolerant and equitable world.
Final report on a ­study commissioned by the Hospital Association of South Africa on estimated economic costs of a NHI plan.
Discussion document on macro health policy and planning which identifies key priorities and opportunities for consideration.
Recommends actions that empower individuals, families and communities to enhance resilience and the development of ­health enhancing policy and legislative frameworks.
This analysis provides new understandings of current concepts of 'globalisation', 'use-oriented' research, 'knowledge society and economy', and 'national system of innovation'.
Argues for allocating budgets towards the 'burden of dise­ase', with Tanzanian case studies
A staff working paper using a human capital earnings function and data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey to estimate the effects of education and health status on wages.
Propose a knowledge synthesis method that is applicable to public policies, taking into account data linked to both effectiveness and implementation. Aims to identify policies that are most likely to succeed, and includes a summary
Makes recommendations on healthcare financing towards universal healthcare coverage. Also read bulletins on healthcare financing.

Report on a conducted collaboratively by the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) and the Ministry of Health (MoH) to assess both the extent and context of research evidence use in the formulation of policies at the Ministry of Health in Kenya. A team of eight researchers drawn from both AFIDEP and MoH were involved in the design, data collection, analysis and write-up of the report. The study was conducted as part of the SECURE Health (Strengthening Capacity to Use Research Evidence in Health Policy) programme in Kenya, whose overall objective is to optimise access and use of research evidence in health sector decision-making, planning and programming. Decision-makers in public health policy worldwide recognise and believe that the inclusion of evidence in public policy-making is both a desirable and attainable policy goal. Conducted with the aim of strengthening the use of evidence in policy formulation at the MoH, this baseline policy analysis study examined the status of research use, capacity, barriers and facilitators of research use within the MoH in order to provide an information base against which to measure the progress and effectiveness of the SECURE Health interventions.

This report introduces a unique and unprecedented series of data on the state of capacity in Africa. It also examines key issues and challenges confronting in-country and cross-border capacity development.
Since 1994 the South African government has prioritised equity as a health policy goal.  Considers how successful the policies have been by referring to evidence from household studies carried out between 1992 and 2003.
The third in a series which discusses what needs to be done further in reaching the MDGs,  an abridged version of a much more comprehensive joint Economic Commission for Africa, African Union Commission, and African Development Bank report.
Comparative research conducted in South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia, to determine preconditions for the success of health care reforms, for affirming common issues faced by these countries, and to develop research capacity.
Investigates health care systems in Kenya, Senegal and South Africa, followed by a short description of the methodology and data used in the research. The later sections focus on empirical results and policy implications.
Newly launched research notes being collated for researchers, policymakers and stakeholders who are considering health reforms. ­
A collaboration between the Lancet and academic centres to assess the health status in South Africa.
Presents overviews of the health care systems of 13 countries, including information on health system financing, innovations and reforms. ­
A comparative study of the food-security policy agendas in the IBSA countries which aims to  identify and examine critical issues and good practices in order to reveal relevant points for knowledge sharing. Includes a one-page summary.­
Reports from a three-year project which critically analyses alternative approaches to health insurance in Ghana, Tanzania and South Africa. ­

This seminar is a follow-up to the government cluster policy workshop held in February 2014, which examined selected key elements of the SANHANES-1 findings with a view to devise a programme of priority actions for: 

  • Improvement of care and quality of life during the first 1000 days; 
  • Coordination of food security and dietary diversity;
  • Evaluation of the school health and the school nutrition programme;
  • Reappraisal of the Integrated Nutrition Programme (INP); and
  • Design and implementation programmes for the early prevention of NCDs. 

The current seminar similarly focused on food, nutrition, and care security in the first 1,000 days with the aim to assess the situation of South African women and children during that period, and to chart the way forward for new or improved interventions designed to address care and the nutritional status of women and their children. Presentations and selected workshop references can be downloaded above.

This workshop presented key findings from the 2012 national HIV population-based household survey (SABSSM4) and discussed their implications for both HIV/AIDS policy and programming in the country. The workshop brought together HIV researchers from within the HSRC and from other research organisations, including universities and policy makers drawn from the national Departments of Health, Social Development, Basic Education, Higher Education and Training, and Public Service and Administration. It will also include experts from SANAC Secretariat and its various sectors, UN agencies such as UNAIDS, and PEPFAR and other US agencies such as CDC.

The discussion focused on the current state of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in South Africa, based on the findings of the 2012 population-based household survey (SABSSM4 that were released on 1 April 2014). The main aim was to discuss the implications of the findings on the current HIV/AIDS policies and programmes and efforts to implement them. In addition, it sought to identify gaps in information which could be addressed in next national HIV population-based household survey (SABSSM5) planned for 2015-2016.

Presentations are attached and further reports will be shared when they are made available. The final report and datasets from the survey can be downloaded here. A research brief from the workshop can also be downloaded above.

Early engagement with end-users of research is, increasingly, seen as essential if findings are to be applied after a study concludes.

This example from Pakistan gives insight into the why and how of such an approach. A collaborative study – by a team from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), the Pakistan National TB Control Programme and the Research Alliance for Advocacy and Development in Pakistan – involved stakeholders from the start of the research.

The study assessed whether patients with pulmonary multi-drug resistant tuberculosis have better treatment outcomes if they are treated using quality-assured, internationally procured (GLC) drugs as compared to locally procured drugs. Early stakeholder engagement and collaboration helped to ensure buy-in and uptake, from policy level (by the National Tuberculosis Programme) to hospital level (staff, clinicians and data managers).

The recent National ECD conference hosted by the National Department of Social Development was a crucial step in the development of an integrated national ECD programme for South Africa. The draft conference declaration was read out by the National Minister of Social Development at the end of the conference. The Director General in the National Department of Social Development highlighted these National ECD Conference Emerging Issues

A platform for a review of HSTs contribution to health research utilisation in policy making and the use of information to inform management decisions.
Conference papers on strategic and operational issues facing medical aid schemes, in the context of proposed National Health Insurance policies.
Essays based on a conference which aimed to ­encourage and facilitate debate about the ethical basis for policy making.
This conference worked towards ensuring that research deals with the countries’ health priorities and contributes to equitable development in Latin America.
­Reviews research on domestic public resource mobilisation­ focusing on ‘success stories’ in allocations towards the health sector.
Roundtable discussion on health systems, health funding, and health­ policy.
Conference papers on themes around evidence based health policy development, service­ delivery, human resources for health and health financing.
This report summarises presentations and discussions that took place during the session entitled National health research: developing a policy framework, during the Global Forum for Health Research 11, ­Beijing, Peoples’ Republic of China.
Comprehensive analysis of the public health system in South Africa, towards national health insurance­.
BHF 2009 ­conference papers with National Health Insurance theme.
Report on a round table which debated current understanding on developments in health systems aspects of HIV in South Africa, to make recommendations for future policy and operational research. Presentations can be downloaded here.

Presentation from a seminar which reviewed evidence-based policy-making and the potential role of evaluation as a key, and a systematic, source of evidence. Presented by Dr Ian Goldman, Deputy Director General, Evaluation and Research, DPME,­ The Presidency.­

Addressed challenges facing the South African health system, aiming to influence health policy developers on issues related to national health insurance.
Workshop report where participants were enabled to apply a knowledge synthesis ­method including: choosing a relevant policy for study, analysing it, performing a literature review (in a way that differs from literature reviews on simple interventions) and organising deliberative processes.

The Citizens Movement was established by senior leaders from politics, academia, business and civil society, under the leadership of founder Dr Mamphela Ramphele, with the aim of building an engaged and active citizenry by building momentum around key areas that affect South African society. The Citizens Movement will:

  • Develop a portal of information that any citizen can access and contribute to
  • Use tools available through social and digital media platforms for face to face engagement that will raise the profile of issues with decision makers and citizens 
  • Provide co-ordinated campaigns for dialogue, direct engagement and peaceful action through an integrated approach using TV, radio, print, website, polls, surveys, mobi and smses.
A new Facebook forum for a national citizens' dialogue, currently working against xenophobia and planning for ­a National Indaba in September 2010.
­Submission to National Treasury on its proposal for the first phase of the conversion of medical deductions to medical tax credits, callng for an extension of the subsidisation of medical scheme contributions beyond personal income tax payers.
Gives practical information on how law and policy can protect and promote human rights in the context of HIV/AIDS, and how Southern African Development Community countries have et this challenge.
Describes advocacy techniques and activities for the health professionals and students. Includes aids such as templates, phone scripts, sample letters and other downloadable tools.
This internship offers outstanding graduate-level students the opportunity to acquire direct exposure to IPC-IG’s work as a global forum for policy dialogue and South-South learning on development innovations.
A community of over 1,000 practitioners managing for development results (MfDR) from 37 different African countries and regions across the world.
Grassroots movement with representation in many countries including South Africa.
If you have some ideas on building a better South Africa, please register for and participate in the National Planning Commission (NPC)­ Jam (an online brainstorming event from noon on 28 September until noon on 1 October). Additional information can also be found here. ­
CIPPEC, a leading think tank in Argentina will award 12 scholarships to participate in the third edition of this online training programme developed jointly with Global Development Network (GDN)­ which will start by the end of August 2011.­
Download the second issue of the Policy > Action Network newsletter and email pan@hsrc.ac.za if you would like to make comments or submissions for the next issue.
Aims to work towards ­the progressive realization of the constitutional right of health for all, including the rural poor.

Consolidation of the State of the Nation and State of the Province addresses prepared by André Viviers, Senior Social Policy Specialist, UNICEF South Africa.

In this issue of From Evidence to Action we focus on research synthesis as a tool for supporting evidence informed policymaking, some organisations involved in this kind of work, and how they go about it. Our Feature focuses on systematic reviews and we interview Ruth Stewart who leads the evidence-informed policy team at the Centre for Anthropological Research at the University of Johannesburg as well as contributing to research at the Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre (EPPI-Centre) in London. The EPPI-Centre is part of the Social Science Research Unit at the Institute of Education in the University of London. In our Case Study we profile the Governance and Social Development Resource Centre which is based at the University of Birmingham and look at the research synthesis facilities that this successful knowledge intermediary has built up. Our spotlight is on two partnering South African institutions, the Centre for Evidence-Based Health Care (CEBHC) at Stellenbosch University and the South African Cochrane Centre and their involvement in systematic reviews in the area of public health. Our Resources Section collates information about related events, opportunities and other useful documents.

In the first issue of From Evidence to Action for 2013/14, we focus on communication for research uptake, which, as we highlight in our Feature article, is not a straightforward subject to get to grips with. For our feature we spoke to Amit Makan, Research Uptake Manager at the PRogramme for Improving Mental health carE (PRIME) about institutional arrangements aimed at enhancing research uptake and successful communication with policymakers. Our case study highlights the research uptake strategies at Strive in the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. We shine our Spotlight on a relatively new regional network, the Zimbabwe Evidence Informed Policy Network (ZEIPNET) where you can join up on their Facebook page and participate in their science cafes and policy dialogues. As always, our resources section collates information on events, training, associations, toolkits and guidelines.

In this first issue of From Evidence to Action for 2012, we look at networks and, specifically, the role they play in changing policy. Our feature article, Getting the most out of policy networks, examines what a network actually is and what makes them effective. Through the example of the Regional Network on Equity in Health in Southern Africa, EQUINET, our case study further explores how to build networks and how they can be used to influence policy. We also find out more about the Policy Action Network, how to manage a Community of Practice. 

This annotated bibliography was prepared as a resource for people working on different dimensions of social power, social participation and social accountability in health. A universal health system values and ensures the right to health care, entitling all citizens in a country to access the same range of services according to their need and pay for these services according to their income. Achieving this calls for more than technical solutions. It demands public leadership and people’s power to assert social needs and interests , to influence the allocation of societal resources towards health needs and to challenge the distribution of power and resources that block this. Social power, participation and accountability are thus central concepts in building people centred health systems.

Extensive literature review on kno­wledge and policy in the health and education sectors.

Government policy & legislation

NDP 2030

The National Development Plan (NDP) aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030. According to the plan, South Africa can realise these goals by drawing on the energies of its people, growing an inclusive economy, building capabilities, enhancing the capacity of the state, and promoting leadership and partnerships throughout society. The popular version in all official languages and two-page illustrated versions are also available.

 

Presidency State of the Nation home page with additional information and links.­
This training programme is aimed at addressing human resources shortages in the public healthcare sector.
From the Department of Health's website.
Lists all those appointed to advise the health minister on National Heath Insurance ­and includes brief curriculum vitae.

Provides estimates of the costs of providing key interventions outlined in the National Strategic Plan­.

­The period for comment on the National Health Insurance Green Paper has been extended to 30 December 2011 – see attached Gazette­ notice.­
A guide to the National Health Act 61 of 2003 aimed at health workers and policymakers from the AIDS Law Project.
Document(s): PDF icon NHIGreenPaper.pdf
The government’s green paper on the NHI which is now available for public comment. It spells out plans for free healthcare for all citizens and permanent residents .

National health insurance discussion document prepared for the ANC's 2010 national general council.
The Presidency has published the National Evaluation Draft Policy Framework for public comment. Comments can be emailed to Dr Ian Goldman at ian@psppd.org.za by 30 September 2011. For enquiries call Dr Ian Goldman at (012) 308 1918. ­­
HSRC CEO Dr Olive Shisana responds to Jasson Urbach of the Free Market Foundation's article on national health insurance, A threat to healthcare.
Proposes that this strategy be adopted as the basis for strengthening the nursing  profession.
Adoption of global strategy on public health, innovation and intellectual property by the World Health Assembly.
This policy aims to set the research agenda, outline how health research is financed, contribute to capacity building, and ensure communication of research results. Note all Department of He­alth policies from 1995 to 2008.
This plan flows from the National Strategic Plan of 2000-2005 as well as the Operational Plan for Comprehensive HIV and AIDS Care, Management, and Treatment.