Research for stronger health systems during and after crisis

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  • New PhD underway for ReBUILD into the role of the private sector in health system recovery and its pro poor impact

New PhD underway for ReBUILD into the role of the private sector in health system recovery and its pro-poor impact

Saturday, 01 Mar 2014

Justine Namakula, ReBUILD researcher for Health Worker Incentives, Makerere University School of Public Health, Uganda and PhD student at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

Over the past months, I have taken part in both formal and informal capacity building activities starting with the Annual ReBUILD Workshop in Liverpool in September 2013. Following this I set off for Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh to commence my PhD training. I received support from ReBUILD to undertake a research skills training course as preparation for my PhD.  I was also able to attend other relevant courses on learning methodologies, Health Systems, Global Health and Social Policy.

My PhD seeks to understand the role of private health providers in the post conflict period of system recovery in Northern Uganda.  I am particularly interested in the provision of pro-poor health services and the role of the private sector here.   My motivation to conduct this study is based on my experience as a researcher coordinating a number of ReBUILD consortium sub-studies in Uganda. The studies tend mostly to concentrate on the individual as a unit of analysis rather than organisations and largely focus on the public and private not for profit sectors. My study will be beneficial in filling the information gap on the role and impact of private for profit organisations who are a key player in the northern Ugandan health sector.

Using New Institutional Economics theory as one of the analytical lenses among others, I seek to understand the dynamics of the health care market in Northern Uganda through time. I will explore how private for profit organisations negotiate markets and the mechanisms, opportunities and challenges they face in enabling provision of pro-poor health services.

Highlights of my learning at QMU included the session on Reflection and Reflexivity by Kristina Mountain. This helped my fellow students and I to visualize our PhD journey. We drew an analogy with that of an acorn growing into an oak tree, facing many obstacles but through perseverance and with the support of a supervisors and rests to avoid burn out, the tree eventually grows to maturity with an owl of wisdom perched upon it. As it sheds its leaves it shares its knowledge, as I hope to do as part of the ReBUILD consortium.