NEW DELHI, 2nd March: Seven international research organizations have come together to form a Primary Health Care Measurement and Implementation Research Consortium (RC). The consortium is funded by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and will have its secretariat at the India office of The George Institute.
The other six global research organisations who are the founding members of the consortium are the American University of Beirut, Lebanon; Ariadne Labs, USA; George Washington University, USA; International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh; Primary Care and Family Medicine Network (Primafamed), Sub-Saharan Africa and World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA).
The consortium has been set up to develop, conduct and disseminate research designed to address priority knowledge gaps in delivering high quality, person-centred primary health care in low- and middle-income countries, also known as LMICs. “The value of a research consortium that enables collaboration between research institutes in LMICs is clear. There is immediate potential for global reach, both to identify knowledge needs and to do effective country-based research and dissemination”, says Prof Bob Mash from Primafamed, Chair of the research consortium’s Steering Committee.
Additionally, the research consortium will develop and maintain a global primary health care research network. These organizations will conduct prioritized and policy-relevant research to support country and global efforts to build high-quality primary health care systems in pursuit of effective universal health coverage and health-related Sustainable Development Goals.
The consortium will bring together primary health care practitioners, researchers, and policymakers from multiple disciplines representing academic institutions, government agencies, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations to prioritize areas and define a way to accelerate progress in primary health care research. “The consortium will enable meaningful engagement with stakeholders, both knowledge users and beneficiaries. This engagement will integrate best practices in knowledge translation, dissemination science, and dialogue in the research process”, says Dr D Praveen, Head of primary healthcare research in George Institute, and Acting Director of the research consortium.
The research agenda will focus on answering questions raised by countries and regions in how to more effectively measure and improve primary health care, initially centring on the delivery mechanisms. Focus areas will be primary care governance, financing, organization and models of care, and performance management, quality, and safety. Partnering organizations have already conducted extensive work to develop evidence gap maps, prioritized questions, and potential research projects engaging a wide range of stakeholders from more than 65 countries.
“The formative work already conducted by the consortium combined with the extensive networks that the founding organisations currently participate in will support rapid engagement in multiple low- and middle-income countries through policymakers, implementers and academic institutions,” says Dr Praveen.