What Can Education Systems Research Learn from Health Systems Research?

Kara Hanson

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Abstract: Effective delivery of health services is underpinned by a health system, and the field of health systems research has emerged over the past 15-20 years as a recognized field of academic enquiry. The aim of this paper is to feed into the first year of conceptual thinking by the Intellectual Leadership Team of the Research for Improving Systems of Education (RISE) programme, which seeks to shape a research agenda to strengthen education systems in low- and middle-income countries. The paper reviews the development of the health systems research field, exploring the issues of system boundaries, alternative health system models, the range of disciplines and methods required for systems research, the contributions of health systems research to policy development, and the structures which could be developed to support a new field of education systems research.