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Table 5 Top 10 Research Questions across the three Focal Themes

From: Understanding the implications of the Sustainable Development Goals for health policy and systems research: results of a research priority setting exercise

RankTheme 1 – Social ProtectionFinal ScoreaTheme 2 – Multisectoral CollaborationFinal scoreTheme 3 – Participatory and accountable institutionsFinal Score
1How can social protection programs for health be designed, implemented, and evaluated to ensure sustainability and scalability in low and middle income countries, including conflict affected settings?80.5%Which strategies and mechanisms are effective in supporting the implementation of multi-sectoral collaborations for health? (e.g., enabling legislation, policy mandate, decentralized control, accountability and incentive mechanisms, dedicated resources, training/skill development, etc.)68%What political factors (e.g. the discretionary power of health providers, politicization of the health system and other political factors) mediate the adoption or effectiveness of accountability initiatives (e.g. digital technology, health committees, local media or more informal citizen actions)?69%
2What are the contextual factors that influence the effectiveness of conditional and unconditional cash transfer schemes for health?71.1%What factors are necessary for sustaining multi-sectoral collaborations over time?63%What processes and incentives (e.g. financial/non-financial, punitive/trust-building, learning loops, peer review) facilitate the acceptability of accountability mechanisms among frontline healthcare providers?68%
3How can various social protection initiatives be best integrated or harmonized across sectors?66.7%How does the use of evidence differ across different sectors and how can we make health evidence more accessible and actionable in other sectors?63%What reforms (e.g. decentralized budgeting, performance based financing) in the governance of national health systems are most likely to enhance provider accountability to consumers and in what contexts?68%
4How cost-effective are CCT programs compared to supply-side interventions (e.g. strengthening quality of infrastructure and expanding services) in improving health?65.9%What is the role of community-based partnerships and initiatives in driving multi-sectoral collaborations for health?63%What mechanisms and contextual/historical factors enable or hinder various actors (MoH officials, lay and professional health workers themselves, clients & communities, civil society, private sector, religious groups providing healthcare) to interact productively in order to improve accountability and responsiveness?63%
5What are the impacts of social protection programs in conflict affected settings and their effectiveness in improving health outcomes and access to health services?63.6%What types of leadership, partnership, and governance structures and processes are most effective for multisectoral collaboration60%What conditions or factors are necessary to enable accountability initiatives to address issues at the macro (e.g. political social, cultural and economic environment), meso (e.g. organizational culture, incentives), and micro (e.g. individual ethics, rationalizations) levels?58%
6What are the pathways through which social protection programs affect clinical and nonclinical outcomes, and what are the implications on program design?61.8%What are the key challenges to implementing multi-sectoral programs and interventions to address health issues (e.g., food security, NCDs, HIV/AIDS)?60%What are the impacts (expected and unexpected) of accountability interventions on the health workforce? (E.g. attitudes, behavior, practices, morale, decision-space, service provision, corruption, performance etc.)58%
7What is the impact of social protection initiatives on health equity outcomes and equitable access to quality health care services for poor and marginalized populations?61.4%How do contextual factors such as institutional arrangements, governance arrangements, democratic values, partnership experiences affect the success (or failure) of multi-sectoral collaborations?53%What is the impact (expected and unexpected) or effectiveness of transparency and accountability interventions on various aspects of governance and health system performance (e.g. healthcare quality, service utilization, human resource management, corruption, participatory decision-making, and citizen-state relationships within and beyond the health sector)?58%
8How can routine information systems be strengthened and used to monitor and evaluate social protection systems for health?57.5%How can we best improve the capacity of stakeholders involved in multi-sectoral action for health (such as health advocates, or health practitioners), to engage in and also promote multi-sectoral initiatives?53%How can citizen monitoring and evaluation be effectively integrated into health system planning and implementation?58%
9How do social protection programs influence the interaction between public and private health care providers with regards to service availability, quality of care and utilization?55.6%Which study designs and methods are best suited to understanding multisectoral collaborations, their governance, functioning, and outcomes?52%How do specific contexts (e.g. political environment, strength of democracy, social cohesion/heterogeneity, level of economic inequity, health system privatization) influence the potential for success/failure of particular types of accountability initiatives?58%
10What are the effects of unconditional cash transfer programs on healthcare quality, coverage and outcomes across settings in low and middle income countries?55.0%How do multi-sectoral collaborations affect health equity and social determinants of health?51%What tools and design features (e.g. format, frequency of use, degree of standardization) can enhance the effectiveness of accountability initiatives, such as digital reporting tools, report cards, social audit tools/social autopsy tools, community report on outbreak responses etc.?58%
10  How do interventions that target non-health Sustainable Development Goals affect health outcomes?51%  
  1. aThe final score reflects the percentage of times which this question, when paired with another question, was preferred by the participant