Phase 1 of SDH-Net was concluded with the publication of the national mapping reports on capacities for research on health and its social determinants. In this regard, the SDH-Net partners comprehensively mapped Social Determinants of Health and health inequities in knowledge production and the respective national health research systems.
The mapping reports pointed at capacity constraints related, amongst others, to SDH research not always being pertinent and responsive to context specific urgencies, core indicators to monitor SDH and health inequities not being defined on national level and the articulation between SDH research and (health) policy still being weak. Funding for SDH research was further shown to be largely insufficient.
Nonetheless, the mapping reports suggest great potentials in the respective countries, which can be capitalized on by strengthening networks between the partners, creating instances (such as Observatories) dedicated to strengthen ties between production and utilization of knowledge through analysis of research results, systematic reviews and production of policy briefings based on scientific evidences as well as by mobilizing political support for comprehensive action directed at SDH and research capacity strengthening.
The second phase of SDH-Net will draw on the mapping reports and a comprehensive assessment of expertise within the SDH-Net consortium and will seek to create mechanisms and elaborate tools which help to strengthen capacities for research on SDH. This will include the above mentioned strategies as well as the development of course material directed at different audiences. Furthermore, comprehensive analyses of good practices related to SDH research capacity strengthening and the establishment and strengthening of networks and collaboration mechanisms based on cross-sectoral, South-South, South-North and North-South exchange are foreseen in the second phase of SDH-Net.
The national mapping reports will soon be made available online and several publications related to the national mapping reports are currently being prepared by the SDH-Net partners.
by Elis Borde (FIOCRUZ)
Elis Borde is a researcher at Centro de Estudos, Políticas e Informação em Determinantes Sociais da Saúde (CEPI-DSS) of the National School of Public Health (ENSP/FIOCRUZ).