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Health Innovation Systems, Equity and Development

José E. Cassiolato e Maria Clara C. Soares (Org.)

Health is fundamental for people all over the world. The health conditions are dramatically different depending on where you are born and what social status you have. The field of innovation systems and global health policy came together in the mid-2000s when a heavy focus was placed on the role of science in bringing forward new drugs, vaccines and diagnostics in solving the world’s health problems. By the late 2000s the debates moved on towards thinking beyond R&D and new technologies, but unfortunately, by doing so, most of the focus on innovation system thinking was lost. The notion of innovation as a process that takes place through interaction between users and producers of knowledge within the health system is not considered.

Innovation system thinking as it has developed within Globelics takes as its starting point disparities in economic development and poverty levels between and within countries. Increasingly, researchers, implementing agents and, to some extent, donors, have acknowledged that there also needs to be a role for organizing society so that it stimulates learning and competence-building, including in the informal sectors and aiming at social inclusion as well as at economic performance.

This book represents an important step toward establishing a new understanding of how health systems may be organized and managed in such a way that they establish paths that offer better health for the poorest in society through balancing and interconnecting scientific advance with experience-based learning.

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