Framework for the implementation of the Algiers Declaration on Research for Health in the African Region: Report of the Regional Director
Abstract1. The Ministerial Conference on Research for Health in the African Region, held in Algiers,Algeria, from 23 to 26 June 2008, adopted the Algiers Declaration renewing the commitment of Member States to strengthen national health research, information systems and knowledge management systems in order to improve health in the African Region. This document aims to provide countries with a framework to facilitate the implementation of the Declaration. 2. In order to narrow the knowledge gap and thereby improve knowledge generation and the use of knowledge to inform policies, strategies and actions, Member States should establish a broad multidisciplinary national working group to initiate the implementation of the Ouagadougou Declaration and the Algiers Declaration. Member States may also wish to consider developing a comprehensive national policy and strategic plan for improving the availability and quality of health information and the use of evidence and knowledge for policy and decision making. 3. Since such a policy and plan should be based on solid evidence, it is vital to carry out beforehand a comprehensive assessment and analysis of the knowledge gap and the current state of research, information and knowledge management in each country. Countries should also consider establishing and strengthening a unit within ministries of health to coordinate efforts in this area. 4. This initial series of steps would pave the way for subsequent actions in regard to the content, process and use of technology aimed at improving: (a) the availability of relevant and timely health information by increasing the frequency of national demographic and health surveys; strengthening birth and death registration; carrying out surveillance and gathering service statistics; and enhancing monitoring of health systems strengthening; (b) management of health information through better analysis and interpretation of data; presentation of information using the proper format to ensure its use for decision making; and sharing and reapplication of information and experiential knowledge; (c) the availability of relevant and timely evidence by reorienting the institutional research agenda to pressing local problems such as health systems while continuing to support externally-funded studies that aim to produce tools for control of priority diseases; (d) management of evidence and knowledge by strengthening mechanisms for adequate ethical and scientific reviews of research; enhancing linkages between and among the producers and users of research; sharing and reapplying evidence and experiential knowledge to ensure the use of evidence by policy-makers and decision-makers; (e) the dissemination and sharing of information, evidence and knowledge by supporting the establishment of health libraries and information centres at local and national levels and linking them to regional and international networks; ensuring availability of printed and electronic materials in appropriate formats and languages; documenting experiential knowledge including best practices; ensuring that all local publications are listed on international indexes; (f) access to global health information by facilitating access to indexes, search engines and social networks; enhancing Internet connectivity; promoting availability of content in relevant languages; and promoting open-access journals and improving access to copyright publications; (g) the use of information and communication technologies by promoting their wide application; critically evaluating available technology to identify those that meet local demands; and ensuring interoperability; 5. A general monitoring and evaluation framework that can be adapted and refined to suit specific country situations will be developed by WHO. 6. It is expected that by successfully implementing the Declaration, countries will significantly narrow the knowledge gap and thus build a strong evidence base for strengthening their health systems.
Regional Committee for Africa, 59. (2011). Framework for the implementation of the Algiers Declaration on Research for Health in the African Region: Report of the Regional Director. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/1646