The Evaluation of International Relationship Role in Promotion of Health System Research

By Kohanzad, H. H.; Ghanei, M. et al. | Iranian Journal of Public Health, January 2013 | Go to article overview

The Evaluation of International Relationship Role in Promotion of Health System Research


Kohanzad, H. H., Ghanei, M., Owlia, P., Iranian Journal of Public Health


Abstract

Background: Regarding the need for scientific development and achievement our national goals, it is clear that international cooperation has the main role in this way. Here is a report on what we have done during past almost 10 years (2001-2011) in the field of international medical research activities in Deputy Ministry for Research & Technology, Ministry of Health, Iran. Our effort was focused to identify and contact with the prominent scientific centers among the world where could make a connection between our researchers in medical science universities with those centers.

Keywords: International relationship, Health, Promotion, Iran

Introduction

The sheer volume of international collaborations has been increased substantially during the last 20 years (1, 2) .This increase is also noticed in the number of internationally co-authored papers between the developed (usually referred to in political jargon as the 'North') and developing and emerging countries (usually referred to as the 'South', for example, India and Bangladesh, Mexico and Brazil, China and Pakistan). Despite its late start, China has published many collaborative papers with most Asian countries and also with the North, confirming the effectiveness of China's current open-door policy. Papers resulting from international collaboration appear in higher-impact journals and are cited more often than papers that are the outcome of local research (3). Only 7.4% of the papers appearing in journals with an impact factor equal to or greater than 5 were published by the local authors during the study period in Taiwan (1990- 2004) compared to 13.6% of the publications that had international collaboration (2). Taiwan's researchers collaborated with 76 countries, with the greatest share from USA (69.9%). Although the majority of collaborations are mainly between the North and the South, only one fifth are South- South collaborations (collaboration between developing countries) (4). However, majority of these collaborations are still disorganized efforts, and they vary according to the centers and universities they are originating from. There are no coherent international collaborations, and many failures have been reported.

"International Research collaboration has always helped scientists to keep abreast of international science and to share expertise and resources which enhances the scientific community and inhouse training" (5). It benefits both the health care system and the population as it may provide new treatments which are probably not already available in that country. It also helps in building up of research capacity and has direct economic significance. Some governments are already beginning to pay premiums to become hubs in the global excellence network. It remains to be seen whether this development will produce significant changes in the world research capacity.

The benefits have also been reflected in the developed countries (4, 6, 7). For example, the new policies in the United Kingdom which are led by primary health care have resulted from international health policy based on the experiences of many developing countries over the past 30 years (7).

This study is focused on 10 years reviewing in the field of international cooperation research (2001 - 2011) which performed in International Affairs Office of Deputy Ministry for Research & Technology, Ministry of Health, Treatment and Education), Iran.

Methods

This report is a descriptive study which concluded from investigation of all approved joint research projects profiles in international affairs unit, particularly those are in final step. The assessment focused on international scientific relations and interaction between our research centers and medical universities with international prestigious research centers through the world based on our priorities. So we used from the recorded documents of all activities in international relationships which were performed during recent 10 years (2001 - 2011) (8).

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