Research for stronger health systems during and after crisis

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New funding announcement - ReBUILD for Resilience

The vital work into health systems in fragile settings begun by ReBUILD is continuing through a new programme - ReBUILD for Resilience.

ReBUILD for Resilience will build on the work started during the highly successful ReBUILD programme but will focus on a wider range of stressors in a wider range of contexts – fragile and shock-prone (FASP) settings.

Over six years, in a collaboration involving partners in Lebanon, Myanmar, Nepal, Sierra Leone and the UK, the team will produce a body of high-quality, relevant, practical, scalable research which can be used to improve the health and lives of many millions of people.

ReBUILD for Resilience is funded by a £7.68 million grant from the UK government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.




The need for further work

ReBUILD created an extensive bank of research into health, becoming a leading global research team and reference point for academics, organisations, policy makers and practitioners. However, the challenges continue to grow – not least due to the current COVID-19 pandemic - and there is a need for sustained research which focuses on a wider range of shocks and stressors and in a wider range of settings. ReBUILD for Resilience will help meet that need.

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine's Dr Joanna Raven explains:

“Two billion of the world’s poorest people live in fragile and conflict-affected settings and that figure is rising, fuelled by growing inequality, violence, conflicts and other shocks. In these shock-prone contexts, and with growing threats from climate change, population displacement and epidemics, the progress towards universal health coverage is slow. This funding will help us to understand how we can develop stronger and more resilient health systems which deliver both local and global health.”


Our research focus

ReBUILD for Resilience will run for six years (2020-26) and in that time the team will address questions such as:

  • How can coordination between overlapping national health systems and providers be improved?

  • How can service delivery change to increase uptake by particularly vulnerable groups?

  • What are the politics of intervention implementation in fragile settings and how do actors and arising powers influence services?

  • How can we use evidence to strengthen health systems and routine and emergency service planning in decentralised contexts?

  • What metrics and processes are appropriate for appraising health system resilience?

  • What are the most effective tools to improve monitoring and accountability?

  • How can we build more inclusive and gender transformative models of care?


Professor Sophie Witter of Queen Margaret University, who also led on ReBUILD, explained:

“The current COVID pandemic demonstrates the fragility of the global health system and the need for evidence-based action to address the growing risk of shocks of various kinds. ReBUILD was the first FCDO research consortium to specifically address the effects of conflict on health systems. In ReBUILD for Resilience, we will build on that base but extend our work to a wider range of shocks – including disasters, epidemics and complex emergencies – and also work with partners in new regions, such as the Middle East, which are highly shock-prone. Our work will aim to help districts, countries and the global health system to better prepare and respond in future.”


Our partners

As in ReBUILD the team is made up of key local and national stakeholders who are deeply embedded in networks and communities of practice in their countries, regions and on the global stage. Together the consortium has expertise in many aspects of health research including public health, epidemiology, social sciences, health economics, political science, research methodologies, gender & equity analysis, research uptake, capacity strengthening and programme management.

Dr Sushil Baral of HERD International, Nepal said:

“I feel very passionate to work with a team led by really experienced, renowned, world-class researchers. It provides opportunities to bring partners like us, from LMICs, together to share experiences, to discuss our contexts, and to create an appropriate model that helps build resilience in health systems across the country as well as beyond. What does it mean to Nepal? It helps our country move forward in terms of enhancing health systems that are more resilient, that leave no one behind, that take care of people who are in need, and successfully deliver services despite the context that we are experiencing virtually on a daily basis. Evidence matters a lot and we need more evidence that is contextually tailored which can be used by the policy makers in our context.”


The ReBUILD for Resilience partners are:

We will be supported by research associates International Rescue Committee and Oxford Policy Management.

More on each of the partners here.

Responsive Fund

A key strand of the programme will be the responsive fund; a flexible way for all partners and associate partners to access funds to support responsive activities. This might cover additional analysis of existing data sets, evidence synthesis, pump prime projects which can lead to multiplier funding, and rapid requests from policy players at international and national levels. The evolving COVID-19 pandemic is expected to be a significant focus of this fund. More on the responsive fund projects here.

Further information

More details on our research will become available as the programme develops.

In the meantime,




Research associates