The Future Health Systems consortium came together 18-22 July for its annual meeting. The Institute for Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex hosted our research partners for a delightful, and eventful, meeting in Brighton, UK. The meeting brought together representatives from all of our existing partners - China National Health Development Research Center, icddr,b, IDS, Indian Institute of Health Management Research, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Makerere University School of Public Health - as well as introducing new partners to the consortium. Joseph Macarthy from the Sierra Leone Urban Research Centre at Njala University and Mengesha Admassu from the International Institute for Primary Health Care in Ethiopia joined the meeting. FHS also looks forward to welcoming our other new partner - Cuttington University in Liberia – to the consortium in the coming months.
The focus of the meeting was two-fold: to reflect and summarize work to-date on FHS and to make concrete plans for new work. Journal supplements highlighting learnings and experiences from FHS’ core themes are progressing, with substantial involvement for junior researchers at all institutions. Exciting and ambitious new work is being planned in Uganda and Bangladesh building on earlier efforts around community scorecards. New partners discussed potential activities including small-scale studies and capacity-building efforts. The meeting also served as a platform to plan FHS’ presence at the upcoming HSR Symposium in Vancouver.
Our charming hosts took good care of us, including a lovely dinner in the countryside. But no meeting of this nature can go off without a hitch and when University of Sussex suffered a facility-wide power outage on our third day, we were forced to decamp for an alternative venue. Perhaps the UK needs development assistance for back-up generators?