Approaches to Health Research Priority Setting in the Philippines across the Years

  • Alain Jason A. Generale
  • Reneepearl Kim P. Sales
  • Teddy S. Dizon
  • Alan B. Feranil
Keywords: research priorities, support of research, research and development, research agenda


Background. As one of the research councils under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), health research priority setting has been the mandate of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) since its establishment in 1982. The development of the National Unified Health Research Agenda (NUHRA) convenes the major stakeholders for health in the country to establish the priorities for health research. The NUHRA aims to address the most urgent health issues in the country for the generation of solutions to the health concerns of the country.

Objectives and Method. Through document review, this paper describes the approaches and lessons learned in research priority setting since the establishment of the Philippine National Health Research System.

Results. The Philippines has employed a bottoms-up, top-down, and a combination of both approaches to develop its health research agenda.

Conclusion. The health research agenda-setting must consider evolving funding sources, its link to production of researches with high probability of knowledge translation to health technology innovation, and policy formulation. Measuring the impact of the NUHRA to the health systems and health situation of the country is a difficult assessment, but the gradual change in healthcare technology utilization and evidence-informed policies towards health equity can be a subjective measurement of the NUHRA’s success.


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