National health research systems in Latin America: A 14-country review

Jackeline Alger, Becerra Posada Francisco, Andrew Kennedy, Elena Martinelli, Luis Gabriel Cuervo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


This article discusses the main features of the national health research systems (NHRS) of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela, based on documents prepared by their country experts who participated in the First Latin American Conference on Research and Innovation for Health held in April 2008, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The review also includes sources cited in the reports, published scientific papers, and expert opinion, as well as regional secondary sources. Six countries reported having formal entities for health research governance and management: Brazil and Costa Rica's entities are led by their ministries of health; while Argentina, Cuba, Ecuador, and Venezuela have entities shared by their ministries of health and ministries of science and technology. Brazil and Ecuador each reported having a comprehensive national policy devoted specifically to health science, technology, and innovation. Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela reported having established health research priorities. In conclusion, encouraging progress has been made, despite the structural and functional heterogeneity of the study countries' NHRS and their disparate levels of development. Instituting good NHRS governance/management is of utmost importance to how efficiently ministries of health, other government players, and society-at-large can tackle health research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-457
Number of pages11
JournalRevista Panamericana de Salud Publica/Pan American Journal of Public Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Health research policy
  • Latin America

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'National health research systems in Latin America: A 14-country review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this