Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All

Thematic guide: Evidence based health cooperation


The challenge for the members of the Medicus Mundi International Network – as for all non-governmental organisations – related to dealing with research can be expressed in two simple slogans: "Get evidence into NGO policy and practice!" and: "Get NGO practice into research!"  - Our thematic guide to internet resources on research priorities and partnerships leads you beyond the limits of the Medicus Mundi International Network. Any important resources missing? Please let us know.

The MMI working group on Effective Health Cooperation

Selected papers: Health systems research, policy and (NGO) practice

  • Get evidence into NGO practice and policy - Get NGO practice into research. Barriers, Enablers and Supportive Tools for Health NGOs
    Nicole Moran (2014, PDF)
  • Getting to grips with evidence
    How NGOs can tackle changing needs in use of evidence and research.
    Rachel Hayman and Jamie Bartlett (2013)
  • The role of NGOs in global health research for development
    Hélène Delisle et al., in: Health Research Policy and Systems 2005, 3:3


MMI Network and Network members

  • How to bridge between health systems researchers and practitioners in the field of international health cooperation. MMI hosted session at ECTMIH 2015 congress
    Basel, 7 September 2015
  • An ideal match! Successfully connecting NGO practice and Health Systems Research.
    Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research
    Cape Town, 3 October 2014
    The session targets NGOs, researchers, policy makers and funders to learn how international NGOs working in the field of health development cooperation have successfully started integrating an evidence based approach into their institutional culture and operational practice. Experiences of successful collaboration of NGOs and research institutions will be discussed. The focus will be less on the content of the research collaboration but on processes allowing innovative interaction between critical actors in a people-centered health system.
  • Getting evidence into NGO practice and policy
    Amsterdam, 10 October 2012
    At this workshop hosted by HealthNet TPO, members of the Medicus Mundi International Network (MMI) and other NGOs working in the field of international health cooperation learnt from HealthNet TPO (The Netherlands) and Memisa (Belgium) how they deal with the challenge of getting evidence into their practice. In a second part, NGOs and representatives of research and teaching institutions discussed the feasibility of a project initiated by the MMI Network to create a “marketplace” for NGOs and young researchers.
  • Health Systems Research and NGOs
    Building up mutually beneficial partnerships
    Antwerp workshop, 11 November 2010
    At this workshop, nongovernmental organizations working in the field of international health cooperation and research institutions discussed past and ongoing cases of research partnerships, the win-win approach of academic research and NGO action and the related challenges.

Key resources


Global initiatives and thematic leaders

  • Council on Health Research for Development (Cohred)
    Cohred supports low and middle income countries to strengthen their national health research systems and set health research priorities.
  • Global Forum for Health Research
    "The Global Forum for Health Research provides evidence, tools and discussion forums for decision-makers in research funding and policy to improve the health of poor populations through reserarch for health." The Global Forum for Health Research is now part of the Cohred group.
  • Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research (HPSR)
    "HPSR is an international collaboration based in the WHO Geneva. It has its origins in the recommendations of the 1996 report of WHO's Ad Hoc Committee on Health Research which identified lack of health policy and systems research as a key problem impeding the improvement of health outcomes in low and middle income countries. It aims to promote the generation and use of health policy and systems research as a means to improve the health systems of developing countries."
  • WHO: Research Policy
  • Evidence-informed Policy Network (EVIPNet)
    EVIPNet promotes the systematic use of research-for-health evidence in policy-making. Focusing on low and middle-income countries, EVIPNet promotes partnerships at the country level between policy-makers, researchers and civil society in order to facilitate both policy development and policy implementation through the use of the best scientific evidence available.
  • Global Development Network (GDN): Health
    "A leading International Organization of developing and transition country researchers, policy and research institutes promoting the generation, sharing, and application to policy of multidisciplinary knowledge for the  purpose of development."

Conferences and conference documentations

MMI Network events: see here
  • Forum 2012, Cape Town, 24-26 April 2012
    "Beyond Aid… Research and Innovation as key drivers for Health, Equity and Development"
  • First Global Symposium on Health Systems Research
    Montreux, Switzerland, 16-19 November 2010
  • Global Forum for Health Research - Annual Forum
    Havana, Cuba, 16-20 November 2009
    "Innovating for the Health of all”
  • The Global Ministerial Forum on Research for Health
    Bamako, Mali, 17-19 November 2008
    The Forum brought together up to 1000 policy-makers and researchers to focus on the key linkages between the health sector and research, science and technology, higher education, and the global innovation system.
  • Equitable access: research challenges for health in developing countries
    Beijing, 29 October - 2 November 2007
    Report on "Forum 11", download as PDF.

NGOs integrating research into their organizational culture and practice: Benchmarks

  • HealthNet TPO: Research
    "Research is necessary to create a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms that cause the needs and (health) problems of individuals and communities living in fragile states and low income countries. Research in this context needs to be participative and action and solution oriented to produce the options for action and the evidence for specific interventions. The production of evidence is only the first step towards the application and implementation of sound health policies. Research within HealthNet TPO is also used to develop procedures to translate knowledge in activities that change health policies."
  • DWA Cuamm: Field research

    "Field research, or operational research, is becoming more and more important for our organization. An integral part of our strategic plan, it complements our work on the ground, where it is helping us to deliver increasingly effective results. What 'doing research' means for CUAMM, in fact, is studying and getting to know in depth the settings where we work; adopting a critical approach to all that we do; identifying evidence-based good practices; and being fully accountable to all of our stakeholders. Finally, it means implementing quality cooperative development activities through networking and partnership with the international scientific community and a focus on innovation."

  • MSF: Field Research
    "MSF is known for its humanitarian medical work, but it has also produced important research based on its field experience. Its studies have been published in more than 100 peer-reviewed journals and have often changed clinical practice and been used for humanitarian advocacy. MSF's scientific articles archived on this website are available free."
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