Mapping the Influence of Socioeconomic Development Plans on Philippine Health Research Agenda: A Descriptive Study

  • Jaifred Christian F. Lopez
  • Arlene S. Ruiz
  • Reneepearl Kim P. Sales
  • Maria Angeli C. Magdaraog
  • Teddy S. Dizon
  • Lester Sam A. Geroy
Keywords: National Unified Health Research Agenda, social determinants of health, international and national agendas


Background. Understanding and addressing social determinants of health through evidence-based action is a strategy that has been advocated by the World Health Organization as part of its “Health for All” strategy in 1978 and “Health in All Policies“ framework in 2013. It has then been recommended that the research agenda-setting process should be informed by socio-economic development plans with the specific aim of gathering data on social, economic, and cultural conditions that affect health.

Objective. This paper reviewed the PDP 2011-2016, PDP 2017-2022, MDGs, and SDGs and identified common directions with the NUHRA 2011-2016 and 2017-2022.

Methods. A content analysis of the three identified priorities of the NUHRA vis-a-vis the PDP 2011-2016, the PDP 2017-2022, the MDGs, and the SDGs was done in order to identify harmonization of the priorities of the NUHRAs targets and indicators with those of the other plans and agendas. A gap analysis across all topics was done to identify links and gaps.

Results. The results established the common ground between health research priorities and international and national plans. Comparing the number of direct relationships between the NUHRAs, PDPs, MDGs, and SDGs, it was noted that there were more direct links between NUHRA 2017-2022, PDP 2017-2022, and the SDGs compared to NUHRA 2011-2016, PDP 2011-2016, and MDGs. The direct links were mostly found in 1) maternal, newborn and child health, 2) health systems, 3) communicable diseases, 4) water, sanitation, and hygiene, 5) environment, and 6) infrastructure development.

Conclusion. The NUHRAs may serve as pathways to achieve the goals stipulated in other socio-economic development plans. The relationships of these to health are complex, nonlinear and often the effects manifest after a long period of time, and as such require rigorous research.


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