A Mechanism for Promoting Comparative Health Policy Research in the Asia-Pacific Region

Philippines Conference Room
  • L. Richard Meyers

The Asia Pacific Observatory (APO) on Health Systems and Policies was established in June 2011. It is a collaborative partnership of interested governments, international agencies, foundations, civil society, and the research community. Modeled on the European Observatory of the same name, the APO has as its main function the collection and analysis of information and research evidence on health care systems, policies, and reforms, with the aim of making this knowledge widely available and easily accessible throughout the Asia Pacific Region; it will also draw cross-country lessons and disseminate these in formats that can be directly used for policymaking.

This presentation will trace the history underlying the creation of the Observatory and indicate its objectives, organizational structure, and proposed modes of operation. It will describe the challenges of attempting to bring a wide range of stakeholders together in support of a regional collaborative research effort. It will also touch on ways that research entities located outside the Asia Pacific region might interact with the APO.

L. Richard Meyers was employed by the World Bank for two decades managing teams that carried out World Bank health sector projects and analytical work in a number of countries in East Asia. He directed a team that produced the first comprehensive health sector review for Vietnam, as well as the first Vietnam National Health Survey.  He also led a team that produced the most comprehensive and empirically-based external analysis to date of the rural health sector in China. More recently he has worked with the European Health Observatory, the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, the WHO Western Pacific and South Asia regional offices, and other stakeholders to facilitate the creation of the Asia Pacific Observatory.