Health research programme

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Enhancement of capacities in health research & research management at the central & provincial moh


Focal Point

Deputy Director General

(Education, Training & Research)


Implementing Agencies

Medical Research Institute – Colombo.

National Institute of Health Sciences – Kalutara.


Target Areas & Beneficiaries

The target areas are Hospital Services, Public Health Services, Laboratory Services, Administrative Services, Financial Services, and Human Resources for Health and Logistical Services. The beneficiaries would be all those that seek health care from government and non-government organizations and their families.

Project Summary:
The Health Research Project aims to provide evidence based results for the Ministry of Health and Provincial Ministries of Health with regard to planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of health services programmes for the people of Sri Lanka.
This programme include both the Biomedical and health systems research. The research what is most needed today is the Health Systems Research which will provide evidence based results for better management of services meeting the needs and expectations people.
Evidence based results received from Health Systems Research should be the key approach for health planning. Research provides the direction and pathway for better utilization and management of health resources. With the emergence of non-communicable diseases, management of resources has become very important.
Certainly the list of health problems and the threats for survival of the human beings will increase in the years to come. The answers to existing and forthcoming problems have to be resolved in the most cost effective way. Research is the only scientific pathway which can provide answers to health problems. Hence the Ministry of Health and Provincial Ministries of Health together have to join hands together with international, bilateral and non governmental agencies to develop and implement a sound Health Research Programme in Sri Lanka. This programme should encompasses establishment of a National Health Research Centre/Unit, establishment of linkages of this center/unit, with all other research centers nationally as well as internationally and dissemination of results for policy makers to utilize the results, to improve health services.

        1. Justification

Research is the scientific pathway for improvement and development. Large number of health problems in Sri Lanka today remain unanswered due to lack of evidence. Policy makers together with politicians and health planners tend to take decisions on important health problems on an ad hoc basis due to lack of scientific evidence. Most of the health problems and very especially diseases per say, today show low mortality pattern but the morbidity pattern remains static or in some diseases increasing. Mortality may be reduced due to better management of the patient even at very high cost, but the morbidity to be reduced requires large amounts and diverse inputs.
The disease burden from communicable, non-communicable and health related events are increasing. Very especially in non-communicable diseases and health related events, the management requires highly sophisticated equipment and care. The ever increasing cost is big burden to the national budget of Sri Lanka. Hence ways and means have to be explored mainly in disciplines of prevention and promotion. What is best suited for the needs of the people of Sri Lanka, what is affordable to the country and people, what is most acceptable to the people (socially and culturally), what is the best intervention at low cost are important issues that always traverses through the minds of health planners.
To obtain answers for the above questions, the Ministry of Health together with Provincial Health Ministries must embark on an early Health Research Programme for the country. Hence there is a definite need to develop a Health Research Programme Project in Sri Lanka for the improvement all aspects of health services management. The project is designed with a view to improve all aspects of health services to the needs and expectations of people of Sri Lanka through evidence based research.

        2. Important Assumptions/Risks/Conditions:

The Ministry of Health together with Provincial Health Ministries must accept the need to commence the health research programme. It should be a policy decision to embark on this mission. Once the policy decision is taken highest commitment should be given to all aspects of the project by the relevant authorities. Once the commitment is established, all aspects of the development, maintenance, sustainability and further improvement of the project should be undertaken by the Ministry of Health together with assistance from donor, multilateral, bilateral, and non governmental agencies where ever possible.

        3. Project Objective:


                To improve all aspects of health services to the needs and expectations of people of Sri Lanka through evidence based research.

        • Availability of a dedicated Health System Research Unit/centre

        • Number of Health System research Studies carried out per year

        • Number of staff attached to the HSR unit

        • Physical availability

        • Study reports

        • Human Resource data

        4. Project Output/Product:



                Means of Verification

                Guidelines developed for the establishment of a National Research Centre.

        • Fully equipped research centre established

        • Availability of a fully equipped research centre

                Guidelines / rules and regulations with for effective functioning of the centre is formulated.

        • Guidelines / rules and regulations are developed

        • Availability of guidelines / reports and rules and regulations in all aspects.

        • Number of research studies executed per year

        • Availability of reports on completed research and information on ongoing research.

                Research findings disseminated to shape up health service delivery

        • Number of research dissemination meetings held

        5. Related Projects:

                Project No.

                Project Title


                National Health Research Council

                a) Capacity building

                b) Funding for health research.

                c) Conduction of workshops in research management and identification of National Health Research priority areas.


                National Institute of health Sciences in

                a) Capacity building – Training of personnel in Research Methodology.

                b) Executing research proposals in health systems research.

                c) Research to improve teaching and training skills in educational science.

                d) Research relevant to development of faculty staff.

        6. Relevant Agencies to be Coordinated:

          Ministry of health, Health Ministries of Provincial Councils, Ministry of Higher Education, World Health Organization, UNICEF, JICA, World Bank, SIDA,

        7. Monitoring & Evaluation:

          1. Who? Ministry of Health, Health Ministries of Provincial Council, National Health Research Centre and Universities of Sri Lanka

          2. When? Annually – Reports / Surveys; Periodically – Reports / Surveys; Ad Hoc – Surveys / Published Information.

          3. What actions to be taken based on results of monitoring & evaluation?

          (i) Identification of deficiencies and shortfalls.

          (ii) Rectification of deficiencies and shortfalls.

          (iii) Revision of relevant rules and regulations.

          (iv) Establishment of a better system for better results.

        8. Activities:


                Expected Results

                Process Indicators


                Formulate a policy and develop guidelines for the creation of a National Health Research Centre / Unit

                Policy and guidelines for the creation of a National Health Research Centre / Unit developed

                Consultative meetings

                Redevelop the draft Consensus meeting


                Establish a National Health Research Centre / Unit

                Project proposal

                Ministry consent


                Develop guidelines, rules and regulations for the allocation of resources to the centre

                Consultative meetings

                Redevelop the draft Consensus meeting


                Develop a monitoring mechanism

                Consultative meeting

                Redevelop the draft Consensus meeting


                Undertake priority research

                Identify priorities

                Identify researchers


                Organize regular reviews/ workshops/ conferences/ meetings /press conferences to target audiences.

                Regular reviews/ workshops/ etc organized


                Conduct training on Health System research

                Training conducted on HSR

                Programme curriculum

                Identify staff

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