Who we are | (CHPSD) - The CHPSD is a multi-disciplinary collaborative effort to support evidence based policy making and health systems strengthening, by establishing a platform for health systems research and evidence, and facilitating coordinated stakeholder engagements.

Who we are

The CHPSD is a multi-disciplinary collaborative effort to support evidence based policy making and health systems strengthening, by establishing a platform for health systems research and evidence, and facilitating coordinated stakeholder engagements.

This Unit addresses some of the constraints that hinder the production and use of high quality evidence in policymaking, implementation and evaluation to ascertain program impact. The CHPSD coordinates multidisciplinary experts from both academic units and practitioners in the field would serve to provide the required guidance to the decision makers in the field of health system development.

A lot of research is conducted within the school, but there is a weak linkage between the producers of the research evidence and the users of the evidence in government and non-government sectors. This is partly due to the fact that most of these research undertakings are financed by external donors who define the research questions and applicable methods. This is a major limitation when it comes to the utility of the studies by decision makers and policy practitioners in Uganda and the region. The customization of evidence generation to the health systems development needs for Uganda and the region is the main purpose this Unitis being established.


To be a Unitof excellence in conducting innovative, rigorous, multi-disciplinary research, that addresses priority issues that seek to strengthen and streamline health systems and policies to deliver better health services and improve population health. The CHPSD will play a key role in capacity building of the health systems and support the main health reforms of government and through, policy analysis, design and testing innovations, economic and program evaluations, knowledge management and translation, and expanding the capabilities for systems management. Overall, the CHPSD will offer expert policy advice and technical support for developments in the health systems and policy in Uganda and the east African region.


The CHPSD will contribute to the political economy and system sciences necessary to strengthen the implementation of policies and programs that build resilience and performance of the health systems at regional, national and sub-national levels. The Unitwill coordinate efforts in the generation of appropriate, innovative and multidisciplinary evidence, and provision of technical advice to decision makers and pilot and evaluate major health policy programs, in Uganda and in the region. In these undertaking the Unitwill contribute to the vision of government and Makerere University.


a) Provide Technical Assistance to Support Universal Health Coverage Agenda:

Building and establishing a set of expertise that will be useful in providing direct technical assistance to both government and non-government health sector players with contextualized evidence to advance universal health coverage. Technical assistance activities are provided for a range of demands not limited to the following:

Proposal [grant] writing to solicit for funding to finance scale-up of interventions and
Designing feasible [implementable] interventions that can fit the system capabilities for sustainable coverage;

Provision of independent monitoring and evaluation of implementation arrangements, conducting performance assessment and feedback of program results to stakeholders.

Provide tailor-made policy analyses in response to client needs and demands in the realm of health systems and policy development that aid universal health coverage goals.

Provide skills building workshops and coaching to policy makers, advocates, research scientists and journalists to improve their competences in engaging with different sources of evidence and or packaging information to advance UHC.

Engaging the media on issues of public awareness, policy debate and generating feedback on policy implementation experiences for UHC programs.

b) Building capacity for health systems management and governance:

The Unitwill undertake three strategic activities aimed at building the capacity of management and governance of the health system at various levels. These strategies include:

Designing and delivering short-courses in Health System management and governance, planning and budgeting and any such relevant courses. These courses will target the both government and non-government agencies that responsible for or work within the national and district health systems. Programs here will include applied courses in Health Economics, Health systems Management, and offer fellowships to providers/ implementers and high-level managers/policy makers linked to health system challenges in the country and the region.

Offering support to the Ministry of Health and other development agencies to design as well as delivery of programs in the area of health systems management and policy design and piloting of key innovations to strengthen health systems. The aim of these programs will be to build the capacity and technical leadership [competencies] in the region.

Establishing mentorship program [attachments/internship] for young researchers and scholars. This will be through creating links with reputable institutions and health systems experts across the country and the region to enhance professional commitment and career development into the health system sub-field.

c) Creating a platform for coordination and continuous dialogue between key stakeholders including researchers, funders, and policy makers for health security and UHC:

One of the challenges that have been highlighted in several health system research activities of is the lack of a coordinated [coherent] action among various agencies in addressing health system problems at national and sub-national level. Evidence show high prevalence conflicting objectives and actions where cooperation would achieve more optimal results. From this perspective, the HPSU intends to enhance collaboration and coordination among the health sector stakeholders. The HPSU proposes to:

Create a forum for active dialogue and engagement on contemporary health policy and system issues, and the rationale for coordinated actions among several state and non-state actors to surmount them

Support collaborative efforts by advocating for and facilitating inclusive arrangements and structures that bring on board all stakeholders. This many necessitate designing incentives for collective actions, negotiation skills and resolving conflicts for policy and systems goals that necessitate interdependence and collaboration among many agencies.

Build an evidence base to guide collaborative interventions through research, addressing stakeholder analysis, power, politics and decision making.

d) Conduct responsive implementation research:

The implementation of proven interventions has been sub-optimal in Uganda and other countries in the region. Insufficient financing alternatives such as health insurance and the limited capacity to evaluate the economic and social benefits of health reforms has been part of the recurrent constraints. Innovations in programs fail to generate lessons to support replication, scale-up and sustainability due to weak evaluation capacity. Under this objective, the Unitwill undertake strategies aimed at:

Active involvement of relevant Sector Ministries (Health and others) and District Health managers to generate responsive research agenda that support the implementation of vital health programs and effectively respond to emergent issues.

Undertaken economic and social monitoring and evaluation of innovative programs to facilitate learning and scale-up of effective models of service delivery and program designs.

For new programs, identify best practices, provide policy analyses that empower decision-makers with relevant information for policy development and support monitoring of ongoing programs in key areas of the systems.

Support scale-up and universal coverage of key interventions in areas where the health system is facing constraints such as health financing, strategic purchasing, performance management and logistics systems to ensure supplies and medicines.

e) Support Decision making and policy development for health system:

Investments into research and innovations in the health sector have achieved sub-optimal results due to failure of the evidence to inform changes in policies and programs. There is now a global movement to strengthen the linkages between evidence/knowledge and the welfare benefits in the communities. The HPSU will engage in a number of strategic activities aimed at promoting uptake of research evidence into policy and programs as well as facilitate translation of health policies into implementable programs. Activities will include but not limited to:

Provide a platform that brings together different stakeholders to generate research agenda that would generate context specific and responsive evidence.

Harnessing links with already existing research uptake platforms and initiatives, both within the university and outside,

Synthesizing available evidence on contemporary policy issues to facilitate public awareness, debate and support decision makers in their roles. Outputs here will include policy briefs, policy memoranda, working papers and popular articles in newspapers.

Generate periodic policy newsletters that are focused on contemporary policy debates, and provide expert opinion on such debates.

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