The Research Reference Hub (RRH) was established per Department Order No. 2012-0197 to formalize a structure with a wider scope of authority, function and expertise, to execute a more comprehensive research and policy agenda for the health sector. It serves to 1) recommend health research and policy agenda to the DOH EXECOM and 2) provide technical guidance for all research and policy development work of DOH institutional partners for EXECOM approval.
Two percent of MOOE funds of DOH Offices were pooled and specifically allocated for research activities which include the four components of HSRM: (1) Research Reference Hub, (2) Implementation of Health Research Agenda, (3) Capacity Building and (4) Research Advocacy and Dissemination. Sixty Eight (68) research projects were implemented in 2012 and 50 research projects in the 2013.
Through the HSRM, the DOH engaged into partnerships with other government research institutions namely UP-National Institutes for Health (UP-NIH), Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) and Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS). This partnership seeks to generate, at the shortest time possible, researches that provide evidence for policy, by banking on the rich network of partners that institutional partners have, and the flexibility of their granting mechanisms to fund research and policy projects.
The RRH, together with the Institutional partners provide the Secretary of Health with quarterly updates on the research projects currently being implemented through the HSRM. The Secretary of Health is also provided with 1-page briefers and metasummary of completed research projects, with emphasis on policy implications and recommendations.
Several capacity building activities among young professionals interested in health research and systems management as well as DOH staff were initiated to bridge the current weakness of capacity for Research and Policy in DOH.
RRH Executive Board Meetings
The RRH Executive Board is composed of representatives from the Department of Health, PhilHealth, and DOH Institutional Partners, and is currently chaired by Dr. Ernesto Domingo, a National Scientist and Ramon Magsaysay awardee. The RRH EB meets once a month to discuss and decide on matters relating to Health Systems Research Management. Since its establishment, the RRH EB has had 14 meetings and has decided on various matters including the finalization of the 2013, 2014, and Medium-term (2014-2016) Health Research Agenda of the DOH, and has kept the Secretary of Health informed of the progress of the ongoing HSRM research projects.
Medium-term (2014-2016) Research Agenda Setting Workshop
To prioritize allocation of funds for researches that will support Kalusugang Pangkalahatan in the medium term, the Health Policy Development and Planning Bureau (HDPBP) and the Research Reference Hub (RRH) employed a more strategic approach in determining the 2014-2016 health research agenda.
Research agenda topics were generated and classified into four health systems components: (1) Financing Systems, (2) Health Services, (3) Governance and Stewardship, and (4) Monitoring and Evaluation and Health Information Systems. An assessment of the current status of evidence generation and utilization plus the progress of KP was done thru desk reviews and round-table discussions. These activities identified policy gaps/issues which were translated into research questions or part of the priority researches to be implemented for this medium term.
Desk reviews were used to formulate situational analyses on the four components above, highlighting information gaps. Four roundtable discussions between the RRH executive involving a total of 40 subject matter experts were done to generate key research questions for each component. The RRH executive board finalized the research agenda based on the preliminary list of key research questions. This was presented to DOH secretary Dr. Enrique Ona and was subsequently approved.
Currently, the Terms of References for the 2014 and the 2014-2016 agenda are being developed.
Quarterly progress reporting to SOH (with Institutional Partners)