Welcome to the new CHESAI website

Dear readers

Welcome to the brand new CHESAI website, and particularly to this blog space. We are hoping that, going forward, this will become a space for sharing of ideas and lively debates on issues pertaining to health policy and systems research and practice.

The Collaboration for Health Systems Analysis and Innovation set out in 2011 to expand and strengthen the South African and African health policy and systems field by building and strengthening networks of people, knowledge and ideas.

 We aimed to:

  1. Build an intellectual hub for health policy and systems research, development and innovation in Africa through inter-institutional collaboration in health systems research and teaching between the Schools of Public Health at the Universities of Cape Town and the Western Cape;
  2. Create spaces for critical engagements between researchers and practitioners, aimed at building African communities of practice in health systems strengthening and innovation;
  3. Provide systematic opportunities and environments for deepening the health policy and systems research knowledge and methodological base, particularly for understanding and impacting on complex health and related systems, by:
    • thinking creatively;
    • supporting research activities;
    • talking across disciplinary boundaries;
    • synthesizing various forms of knowledge 
    • facilitating analytical engagement across existing collaborative projects.
  4. Support African HPSR capacity development through a range of awards to support scholarship and by developing innovative post graduate teaching materials.
  5. Share and disseminate HPSR conceptual and methodological innovations through a range of outputs and communication channels.

We have, in particular, aimed to strengthen the social science perspectives, which we consider vital to this field by defining the terrain and its conceptual and methodological foundations – for example by:

  1. Understanding complex causality
  2. Supporting analytic generalisation through case study work
  3. Strengthening quality and rigour
  4. Innovating in knowledge generation and policy learning

Five years on we have a well established journal club where colleagues from our own and neighbouring academic institutions and local policy makers and managers from the department of health discuss key health systems concepts and ideas. 

We have a growing community of HPS teachers who have attended and/or taught at our short courses during the UWC Winter School, and the  teaching materials we use are also being accessed by academics from around the world on the CHEPSAA website. We invite you to visit the site, and add reflections on your HPSR teaching experiences and challenges there.

Visits from expert residents have helped to strengthen relationships with colleagues, institutions and networks in African and other countries in the global south. See their profiles here.

We have engaged with some new HPSR talent in the person of four African postdoctoral fellows, and look forward to continuing the engagement as they move on to strengthen HPS research and teaching in their home countries.

And, memorably, we worked with other South African organisations to help the newly formed Health Systems Global organise and host the Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research – an event that brought 1,800 HPS practitioners and academics to Cape Town for a week of fascinating inputs and engagements. We now look forward to visiting Vancouver in November this year to take forward the discussions and engagements, within the Fourth Global HSR Symposium.

With this newly created blog space we now invite old acquaintances and new friends to participate in the continued development of HPSR ideas, conversations, approaches and networks:

  • Share and discuss interesting ideas and practices of health systems innovation.
  • Alert us to new readings and other materials.
  • Tell us about events and developments in the field of health policy and systems in your country, city, institution.

We will endeavour to share your contributions by tweeting about new blog posts and publicising our website.


Copyright (c) CHESAI