Systems thinking for health systems strengthening.
Over 2008, wide global consultation revealed considerable interest and frustration among researchers, funders and policy-makers around our limited understanding of what works in health systems strengthening. In this current Flagship Report we introduce and discuss the merits of employing a systems thinking approach in order to catalyze conceptual thinking regarding health systems, system-level interventions, and evaluations of health system strengthening. The Report sets out to answer the following broad questions: What is systems thinking and how can researchers and policy-makers apply it? How can we use this perspective to better understand and exploit the synergies among interventions to strengthen health systems? How can systems thinking contribute to better evaluations of these system-level interventions? This Report argues that a stronger systems perspective among designers, implementers, stewards and funders is a critical component in strengthening overall health-sector development in low- and middle-income countries. (Excerpt)