SARChI Chair in Health Systems Governance

The SARChI Chair in Health Systems Governance was established in 2015 and is held by Prof Helen Schneider.

The Chair was renewed for an additional five years in 2021. Helen also holds the Directorship of the South African Medical Research Council Extra Mural Research Unit – Health Systems to Services.

The aim of this SARChI programme is to conduct, and build capacity to conduct, research in the field of health policy and systems research, with a focus on health systems governance.

Prof. Helen Schneider

Professor and SARCHI Chair
E: hschneider@uwc.ac.za

The aim of this SARChI programme is to conduct, and build capacity to conduct, research in the field of health policy and systems research, with a focus on health systems governance.

The objectives of the programme  of work are three-fold:

  1. to explore, through a range of lenses, the micro, meso and macro dimensions of health system governance of the South African health system. The areas of research includes, working closely with health system actors in the Mphatlalatsane Project, and new phase of prospective research and engagement on the governance of place-based local intersectoral collaboration in the Western Cape.  This work will provide important insights into the design and implementation of National Health Insurance reforms and importantly providing a ‘bottom-up’ perspective on these reforms. The chair will also drawing insights into experiences with health insurance reforms under the banner of UHC in the Indian context, and other LMICs.
  2. to develop greater conceptual clarity on both the structural and relational dimensions of health sector governance, and methods for assessing this. In addition to various methodological and conceptual lines of enquiry explored in the first cycle (2016 to 2020), two key additional ideas are being explored, viz.
    1. mechanisms for bringing together bottom-up system strengthening and top-down system reform in a productive dialogue; and
    2. the nature of collective action in health systems, and the different disciplinary perspectives on this (new institutional economics, sociological, governance).
  3. to develop capacity for studying governance through masters, doctoral and post-doctoral training, with a specific emphasis on developing a pipeline of South African scholars.

Helen has since 2016 served  on the Advisory Committee on Health Systems Governance for Universal Health Coverage, World Health Organization; and between 2018-2020 served on the * Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC), Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, World Health Organization, Geneva.

Key collaborators

The South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) was established by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the National Research Foundation (NRF). The aim is to attract and retain excellence in research and innovation at South African public universities through the establishment of Research Chairs.