A more coherent global approach to health research is needed to strengthen national health research systems in the developing world, say John-Arne Rottingen and colleagues.
While a number of WHO-based programmes and independent foundations are already working to strengthen research capacity, these organisations individually have limited reach and diverse strategic approaches and are failing to reach a critical mass, say the authors.
Such organisations compete for the same money from a limited pool of donors, duplicate advocacy work and disperse grants differently.
More joined up strategies are needed to improve recipient country ownership and governance, and get more value for investment, say the authors.
They recommend creating a new organisation, set up as a partnership within the WHO, with one board, a common pool of administrative and operational staff, and several scientific and technical advisory committees to sustain the merits of current organisations.
This will not only increase impact and efficiency but will give governments in developing countries easier access to funds and support, and will help bolster local research capacities.
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