Partners’ HPSR report – 2021
Interest in HPSR has increased in Mexico over the past 10 years, with 46 HPSR-related institutions identified in the country: most of them located in the capital, Mexico City. Half of these institutions are among the country’s small but highly active private non-profit think tanks, as well as university units focused on social and economic policy, advocacy and accountability. Public institutions account for 12 of the institutions identified, as they have also strengthened their HPSR focus and remain the strongest players. A further six institutions are international organizations, with local NGOs and hospitals accounting for the remainder. There is no available estimate for Mexico’s national health research budget, but funding for HPSR from public financing sources has surged since 2003.
Institutions by type
List of HPSR institutions
Knowledge generation work is undertaken mainly by the Health Systems Research Centre at the National Institute of Public Health (CISS), the Center for Research in Policies, Population and Health of UNAM (CIPPS), and Veracruz University. These institutes lead the evaluation of health policies and programmes, the analysis of care networks, and the assessment of strategies for health services integration (with a focus on quality and cost-effectiveness). The COVID-19 pandemic also led to a focus on training and on the systematization of experiences in terms of strategies for prevention, care and mitigation.
The National Institute of Geriatrics generates knowledge on long-term care. The Autonomous Metropolitan University-Xochimilco (UAM-X) leads the analysis of health policies in the context of markets and human rights with a focus on universal coverage, neoliberal health reforms and alternatives among progressive governments worldwide. El Colegio de México produces knowledge on health inequalities and the fragmented response by health institutions, while Anahuac University is a pioneer in implementation research and in the analysis of public-private collaboration.
The number of HPSR-related reports has increased slightly, rising from 37 in 2018 to 45 in 2020.
Average number of reports produced per institution each year in Mexico and overall
Engaging policy-makers and the public
HPSR has a particularly strong influence on health policy. CISS researchers, for example, participate in various expert groups that advise the Ministry of Health. These include the External Advisory Group for the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, and the groups working on the coordination for the review and update of the health programmes and the reform of the General Health Law in 2020.
The National Institute of Geriatrics has promulgated a decree on long-term care and has participated in the review of regulations on disability and in the Technical Committee for Coordination of the National Policy in Favor of Older Adults. UAM-X has promoted the critical analysis of health policies and programmes at the local, state, regional and national levels.
With a smaller emphasis on policy, Veracruz University has participated in the implementation of clinical interventions in the COVID-19 pandemic, while CIPPS has established collaboration networks with public and private institutions to promote the analysis and evaluation of policies and programmes.
The number of meetings with policy-makers each year is high and continues to rise: increasing from 98 in 2018 to 125 in 2020, with CISS accounting for almost half of the 2020 meetings. The number of HPSR-related newspaper articles to reach the public has surged from just 19 in 2018 to 76 in 2020, with almost one quarter of these generated by CISS.
Average number of meetings held with policy-makers per institution each year in Mexico and overall
Average number of media articles published per institution each year in Mexico and overall
Academic and institutional capacity
The institutions with the greatest capacity are the CISS, UAM-X, and CIPSS. CISS has an internationally accredited Master’s degree in Public Health with a focus on Health Administration, as well as a Doctorate programme and various HPSR-relevant diplomas and short courses. CISS has teaching collaboration agreements with universities and national and international institutions and coordinates the HPSR programme of the biennial Congress on Public Health Research.
UAM-X offers a Master’s in Social Medicine and a Doctorate in Collective Health Sciences and participates in national and international teaching networks. It has extensive collaboration across diverse institutions, including the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO) through a Social Studies for Health working group.
CIPPS supports HPSR teaching through UNAM’s Doctorate in Health Sciences and offers short courses on intervention effectiveness evaluation, collaborating with national and international institutions. El Colegio de México created a network of studies on inequalities, which includes the health of populations among its cross-cutting themes. Veracruz University has Master’s and Doctorate programmes in Health Sciences with specializations available in HPSR.
Mexico’s HPSR faculty totalled 270 in 2020, and 556 students were reported to be participating in HPSR-related courses.
Total number of HPSR faculty and staff
Total number of participants in HPSR-related short courses
While there are no available figures for Mexico’s current national health research budget, HPSR in Mexico saw a surge in public financing following the establishment of diverse research trust funds and mechanisms in 2003. As a result, public health institutions and state governments, together with the Science and Technology Institute (CONACYT), allocated funding in response to institutional and state priorities, overseen by academics and institutional authorities.
These funds grew at an average annual rate of 3.5% between 2003 and 2010. By 2010, health research funding amounted to US$ 413 million, equivalent to 1.06% of Mexico’s public health spending. HPSR funding across this period amounted to 4.4% of total health research funding and 0.05% of health spending. By 2010, HPSR funding amounted to US$ 1.25 million.
HPSR funding increased between 2018 and 2020 from around US$ 475 000 to just over US$ 640 000. However, this upward trend is now in jeopardy because the public trust funds held by the Mexican Agency for Science and Technology (CONACYT) that protected research were wound up in 2020. This was the result of a financial crisis, coupled with a policy of increasing control of the federal budget by the Ministry of Finance.
Total institutional expenditure
Credits and disclaimers
Partners’ health policy and systems research report, 2021
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