SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: Health research policy and systems / BioMed Central

73

Global investment in biomedical research has grown significantly over the last decades, reaching approximately a quarter of a trillion US dollars in 2010. However, not all of this investment is distributed evenly by gender. It follows, arguably, that scarce research resources may not be optimally invested (by either not supporting the best science or by failing to investigate topics that benefit women and men equitably). Women across the world tend to be significantly underrepresented in research both as researchers and research participants, receive less research funding, and appear less frequently than men as authors on research publications. There is also some evidence that women are relatively disadvantaged as the beneficiaries of research, in terms of its health, societal and economic impacts. Historical gender biases may have created a path dependency that means that the research system and the impacts of research are biased towards male researchers and male beneficiaries, making it inherently difficult (though not impossible) to eliminate gender bias. In this commentary, we - a group of scholars and practitioners from Africa, America, Asia and Europe - argue that gender-sensitive research impact assessment could become a force for good in moving science policy and practice towards gender equity. Research impact assessment is the multidisciplinary field of scientific inquiry that examines the research process to maximise scientific, societal and economic returns on investment in research. It encompasses many theoretical and methodological approaches that can be used to investigate gender bias and recommend actions for change to maximise research impact. We offer a set of recommendations to research funders, research institutions and research evaluators who conduct impact assessment on how to include and strengthen analysis of gender equity in research impact assessment and issue a global call for action.

Concepts: Rate of return, Bias, Gender, Science, Investment, Research, Scientific method

28

Little is known about who the main public and philanthropic funders of health research are globally, what they fund and how they decide what gets funded. This study aims to identify the 10 largest public and philanthropic health research funding organizations in the world, to report on what they fund, and on how they distribute their funds.

Concepts: Research funding, Research, World, Hedge fund, Business terms, Finance, Fundraising, Funding

27

While health research is considered essential for improving health worldwide, it remains unclear how it is best organized to contribute to health. This study examined research that was part of a Ghanaian-Dutch research program that aimed to increase the likelihood that results would be used by funding research that focused on national research priorities and was led by local researchers. The aim of this study was to map the contribution of this research to action and examine which features of research and translation processes were associated with the use of the results.

Concepts: Research funding, Empiricism, Research, Science, Research and development, Empirical research, Scientific method

16

Evidence-based policy (EBP), a concept modelled on the principles of evidence-based medicine (EBM), is widely used in different areas of policymaking. Systematic reviews (SRs) with meta-analyses gradually became the methods of choice for synthesizing research evidence about interventions and judgements about quality of evidence and strength of recommendations. Critics have argued that the relation between research evidence and service policies is weak, and that the notion of EBP rests on a misunderstanding of policy processes. Having explored EBM standards and knowledge requirements for health policy decision-making, we present an empirical point of departure for discussing the relationship between EBM and EBP.

Concepts: Avicenna, Scientific method, Critical appraisal, Randomized controlled trial, Medicine, Meta-analysis, Evidence-based medicine, Systematic review

14

This paper aims to describe the contextual factors that gave rise to evidence-based medicine (EBM), as well as its controversies and limitations in the current health context. Our analysis utilizes two frameworks: (1) a complex adaptive view of health that sees both health and healthcare as non-linear phenomena emerging from their different components; and (2) the unified approach to the philosophy of science that provides a new background for understanding the differences between the phases of discovery, corroboration, and implementation in science.

Concepts: Alternative medicine, Scientific method, Health science, Health care, Health, Medicine, Evidence-based medicine, Avicenna

11

Systematic reviews of research are increasingly recognised as important for informing decisions across policy sectors and for setting priorities for research. Although reviews draw on international research, the host institutions and countries can focus attention on their own priorities. The uneven capacity for conducting research around the world raises questions about the capacity for conducting systematic reviews.

Concepts: World

11

Community health workers (CHWs) are increasingly recognized as an integral component of the health workforce needed to achieve public health goals in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Many factors intersect to influence CHW performance. A systematic review with a narrative analysis was conducted to identify contextual factors influencing performance of CHWs.

Concepts: Contextual, Hilbert space, Population health, Health care, Public health

11

At a time of growing emphasis on both the use of research and accountability, it is important for research funders, researchers and other stakeholders to monitor and evaluate the extent to which research contributes to better action for health, and find ways to enhance the likelihood that beneficial contributions are realized. Past attempts to assess research ‘impact’ struggle with operationalizing ‘impact’, identifying the users of research and attributing impact to research projects as source. In this article we describe Contribution Mapping, a novel approach to research monitoring and evaluation that aims to assess contributions instead of impacts. The approach focuses on processes and actors and systematically assesses anticipatory efforts that aim to enhance contributions, so-called alignment efforts. The approach is designed to be useful for both accountability purposes and for assisting in better employing research to contribute to better action for health.

Concepts: Monitoring, Actor, Contribution margin, Research, Contributions, Academic publishing, Research and development, Evaluation

9

Research funding agencies continue to grapple with assessing research impact. Theoretical frameworks are useful tools for describing and understanding research impact. The purpose of this narrative literature review was to synthesize evidence that describes processes and conceptual models for assessing policy and practice impacts of public health research.

Concepts: Narrative, Rhetorical modes, Fiction, Academic publishing, Humanities, Mental structures, Research funding, Evaluation

9

Implementation science and knowledge translation have developed across multiple disciplines with the common aim of bringing innovations to practice. Numerous implementation frameworks, models, and theories have been developed to target a diverse array of innovations. As such, it is plausible that not all frameworks include the full range of concepts now thought to be involved in implementation. Users face the decision of selecting a single or combining multiple implementation frameworks. To aid this decision, the aim of this review was to assess the comprehensiveness of existing frameworks.

Concepts: Thought, Scientific method, Science, Cognition, Truth