Operationalizing the Development of the National Unified Health Research Agenda 2017-2022
Introduction. The National Unified Health Research Agenda is a major document whose creation by the Philippine National Health Research Systems is mandated by Philippine Law. Multiple frameworks, methods, and approaches for the development of a health research agenda exists. Available literature on research priority setting have mostly focused on its methods, results, or implementation. There are limited studies on the operations management of conducting a national health research priority-setting exercise.
Objectives. This paper aims to describe the operational components utilized to develop the NUHRA 2017-2022 and provide lessons learned for future research priority setting endeavors.
Methods. This paper identified and categorized the operational components to develop the NUHRA 2017-2022 using the Enabler Criterion of the European Foundation for Quality Management’s (EFQM) Excellence Model.
Results. Operationalizing the development of a national health research agenda requires the harmonization of multiple components. Having region-based staff involved in the production of a regional situational analysis improved its context and accuracy. The workload for each cluster team must be considered and anticipated by the management. Stakeholder engagement requires political, diplomatic, advocacy, marketing, management, and technical skills. The process requires building relationships with various institutions. In a largescale project, management processes must be in place to effectively track and monitor its progress.
Conclusion. Operations and management are usually a neglected area in research and development projects. In a bottoms-up research priority-setting approach, iteration and flexibility is needed which requires a lot of management skills and insight. Duration of the project, planning, resources available, and quality of outputs have a strong interconnected relationship.