Building Capacity in Health Services and Policy Research: Lessons Learned for CIHRCIHR and its 13 Institutes are committed to building health research capacity and training health researchers across all four Themes of research1. Part of the reason the organization was created in 2000 was to transform health research in Canada by "building research capacity in under-developed areas such as population health and health services research," and "training the next generation of health researchers"2. Now, 10 years since the inception of CIHR, IHSPR believes that it is appropriate to examine capacity building supports for and trends over time in Canada's health services and policy research community, and identify evidence-informed capacity building strategies for the future of health services and policy research (HSPR) in Canada.
Additionally, as part of its new strategic plan "A Health Research Roadmap 2009-2014", CIHR included an objective to "Support a high-quality, accessible, and sustainable health care system". In order to achieve this, it is critical for CIHR and its thirteen Institutes to make investments in high quality and relevant HSPR which, in turn, requires a robust, skilled and vibrant community of health services and policy researchers.
In order to continue to invest strategically in capacity building for HSPR, it is important to understand current strengths, needs and gaps in capacity-building and best practices, strategies and tools used in other jurisdictions. To this end, in 2009-10, CIHR-IHSPR completed a capacity-building analysis that was comprised of several components. The report that is presented below entitled "Health Services and Policy Research Capacity Building in Canada'' (Eddy Nason, Institute on Governance) is the result of one of these components. The report is based on an extensive literature review and key informant interviews with experts in Canada and abroad to determine best practices in capacity-building for HSPR. From this and other components of the IHSPR capacity-building analysis, recommendations for CIHR regarding future capacity building investment strategies for HSPR will be formulated.
Although the views contained within the report do not necessarily represent CIHR or IHSPR's views, we believe that the work may be of interest and use to other organisations committed to building capacity in HSPR. The Executive Summary is available and a full copy of the report is available on the Institute on Governance's website.
Questions or comments about the report or project can be directed to Michèle O'Rourke or at 613-952-4539.
CIHR-IHSPR is grateful for the advice and input that the IHSPR Impact and Evaluation subcommittee provided.
Subcommittee members include:
- Krista Connell (NSHRF)
- Ivy Bourgeault (University of Ottawa)
- Steve Morgan (University of British Columbia)
- Laura McAuley (CIHR)
- John Lavis (McMaster University)
- Ingrid Sketris (Dalhousie University)
- Jennifer Zelmer (Canada Health Infoway)
- Dale McMurchy (CIHR-IHSPR)
- Anne-Cécile Desfaits (CIHR-IHDCYH)
- Elizabeth Fowler (CIHR-IHDCYH).
1. CIHR categorizes health research in four broad themes: 1) bio-medical research; 2) clinical research; 3) research respecting health systems and services; and 4) research into the health of populations, societal and cultural dimensions of health, and environmental influences on health. CIHR broadly defines its third theme as "research with the goal of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of health professionals and the health care system, through changes to practice and policy".
2. Our Mission. CIHR. Accessed 3 May 2010.