Doctors doing research


The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), commission Ecorys to undertake an evaluation of their Global Health Research (GHR) portfolio.

| Social Policy

Investment in global health research remains hugely unequal in its focus on geographies, diseases, and populations, and low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) often lack the human, economic and physical capacity to conduct research required to improve their health systems.

Institutions in high-income countries have been frequently criticised for conducting research in LMICs without fair collaboration with local partners. Even when health research is successfully conducted, there are barriers to its uptake and implementation. One response to these challenges, is increased investment in North–South health research partnerships.  

The Global Health Research (GHR) portfolio was established by DHSC following the 2015 UK Aid Strategy and is being implemented by the NIHR and other delivery partners, with the aim of supporting high-quality applied health research and training to address unmet health needs through research in LMICs, delivered through equitable North-South and South-South partnerships. Within the context of such a large and publicly funded scheme, evaluating the GHR portfolio’s relevance, contribution to desired outcomes and impacts, and efficiency is important for transparency, accountability, and value for money, as well as for extracting lessons for future research programming. The evaluation will also contribute to the scarce evidence base on global health research impact. 

The Evaluation Team will work with regional health and research partners in India, Brazil, South Africa and Ethiopia to undertake this two-year evaluation. The evaluation will firstly seek to assess the suitability of the design and implementation of the first phase of the NIHR GHR portfolio (2016/17-2020/21) for achieving its intended health, policy and research capacity strengthening outcomes and impacts. It will also identify key learning to inform development and delivery of the portfolio’s second phase (2021/22 onwards). Secondly, the evaluation aims to provide accountability for the GHR portfolio performance to date. This will be conducted through identifying the portfolio’s contribution towards emerging outcomes (for whom, in what contexts, how and why), assessing whether the portfolio is on track to achieve desired outcomes and impact, and determining the =value for money of investments to date. 

For more information, please contact Sarah Hanka.