Research for stronger health systems during and after crisis

About the ReBUILD Consortium

In countries affected by conflict health systems often break down, and emergency assistance is often the main source of care. As recovery begins so should the process of rebuilding health systems. However, in practice not enough is known about the effectiveness of different approaches to health systems strengthening.

The ReBUILD Consortium is an international research partnership funded by the UK Department for International Development. ReBUILD’s overall purpose is to contribute towards improved access of the poor to effective health care and reduced health costs burdens, through the production and uptake of a coherent body of high quality, policy-relevant new research on health systems financing and human resources in post-conflict countries. Working primarily in Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zimbabwe,we are exploring how policy and practice related to health financing and staffing in post-conflict settings can be strengthened. ReBUILD is also working with affiliate research partners in other settings, to broaden the range of evidence.

Beyond the research itself, ReBUILD is actively working to promote the uptake and use of this evidence by organisations and initiatives at national and international level, to support resilient and responsive health systems.

On health financing, we are investigating health systems funding to understand how the budgets of the poorest households have been affected by financing policy. We are also looking at mechanisms for managing contracts and performance introduced under humanitarian assistance.

On human resources for health, we are investigating the evolution of incentives for health workers post-conflict and their effects on development of rational and equitable health services. This includes identifying ways to improve rural deployment of health workers. Further research includes investigating aid architecture.

Running through all this research has been a cross-cutting theme supporting gender analysis. This has now been further developed into the RiNGs initiative, which is working across three research programme consortia, to mainstream a gendered approach to the study of health systems.

See ReBUILD's Barbara McPake talking about ReBUILD's work and its contribution to the building of resilient and responsive health systems in states recovering from conflict.