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Priority Setting for Collaborative Health Systems Research in India: A Method and the Way Forward

Tushar Mokashi, Smruti Panigrahi,  A. Venkat Raman, V. R. Muraleedharan and Maulik Chokshi


A comprehensive and collaborative knowledge translation and decision-making approach can help reduce the longstanding barriers to using research in policy and practice. Regular interaction between researchers and decision-makers increases the likelihood of using research knowledge. This interaction continuing over the entire research cycle is critical for developing research directions and potential use of the research outputs that benefit the health system.

The India Health Systems Collaborative and ACCESS Health International have conducted a rigorous exercise to arrive at the priority research topics. A consensus-based method customised to the existing need was created, adapting from the Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative (CHNRI) method for research priority setting. In this method, conducting literature reviews, key informant interviews and survey-based stakeholder consultations are critical steps for identifying policy-relevant research topics that demand utmost attention in the Indian setting.

This article documents the processes followed to develop a preliminary list of core research priorities requiring urgent attention to facilitate policy development. Additionally, the article is about the essential and immediate next steps and the critical actions taken to undertake collaborative research on the identified research topics. The special issue of the Journal for Health Management dedicated to strengthening the Indian health system sets the foundation for promoting collaborative research, its dissemination for broader use by researchers and ensuing policy dialogues.


Priority setting, health policy and systems research, health systems strengthening, policy relevance, evidence-based policymaking

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