5 Nov 2008
Source: HRSA Toolkit
Fostering an enabling environment for producing research
An "enabling environment" is evoked as a precondition for conducting or producing research. The HRSA network and collaborators identified ten key areas that need to be addressed by institutions and policy makers to create an enabling environment for individuals who contribute to health research. These areas relate to science, education, and health systems.
Range and breadth of health researchers: establish teams of researchers with various experiences and skills, from a range of health research disciplines such as basic science, health systems, social science and epidemiology.
Transparency of the funding process: utilize a merit-based, accountable funding process with clear criteria and timely processing.
Quality of the work space and facilities: provide functional work spaces with access to relevant technologies and materials.
Encouragement of collaboration with others: promote collaboration at home and abroad among researchers as well as between researchers, health professionals, policy makers, the media, and the public.
Opportunities to present, discuss, and publish results: provide opportunities and incentives to discuss and present both work in progress and completed work, and publish results in a diverse range of journals or other media.
Relevance of health research activities to health problems and health systems: address priority areas of research, current or projected health problems, and health problems of disadvantaged or poor populations, both on national and global levels.
Remuneration of health researchers: provide adequate salaries and benefits to attract and retain trained health researchers.
Nurturing of careers: recognize work contribution and provide opportunities for mentoring and leadership for young and mid-level researchers.
Training and ongoing training: provide up-to-date training on national and international approaches to health research and establish a 'continuous education' program.
Access and sharing of information: ensure access to national, regional, and international publications, electronic information sources, and reference databases on a range of health research disciplines.
According to data from across 13 low- and middle- income countries, those surveyed within national health research systems ranked transparency of the funding process higher than salary and benefits. They reported that these were the most important areas for further strengthening followed by quality of work space and facilities, and training and ongoing training opportunities.
Enabling environment for institutions
[Findings from the institutional survey forthcoming]
Level of agreement around the world
[Findings from vignettes forthcoming]