Do health systems contribute to reduced fragility and state-building during and after crises?
The process of ‘state-building’ after periods of crisis has attracted significant recent attention in humanitarian and development sectors. Health systems are an important outcome of state-building, but are also argued by some to be a driver of the state-building process itself. Access to health services is valued across ideologies and offers a way of encouraging reconciliation and preventing future crises, a logic sometimes referred to as ‘health as a bridge to peace’. This brief discusses the associations between health systems and state-building and the empirical evidence in this area.
This brief is one of a series of ReBUILD papers addresses key questions on health systems strengthening in settings affected by conflict or crisis. The purpose of these briefing papers was to bring together current knowledge and research in order to inform decision-makers, implementers, researchers and other stakeholders in this area.
The questions addressed in the series were identified through a study of priority research needs carried out by the Thematic Working Group on Health Systems in Fragile and Conflict Affected States. ReBUILD researchers have drawn on both the programme’s own research and on wider published literature to address eight of the questions through this series of briefing papers.