Mapping health research capacity in 17 countries of the former Soviet Union and south-eastern Europe: An exploratory study

Walter Ricciardi, Alessio Santoro, Ketevan Glonti, Roberto Bertollini, Martin Mckee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Policies to improve health status, tackle disease and ensure equitable access to healthcare should be informed by evidence derived from high-quality research. However, health research capacity is unevenly distributed across countries, as revealed by mapping exercises that have been undertaken to provide a basis for concerted action to strengthen capacity. This study systematically describes capacity to undertake health research in the countries of the former Soviet Union and south-eastern Europe and identifies the elements required to create a national health research system. Methods: The mapping exercise comprised two elements: a survey of key informants in the respective countries and a bibliometric analysis of scientific publications in the field of public health. Results: Our results confirm that health research remains a low priority in some countries of the WHO European Region. In these countries, most of the literature was produced by researchers outside the country, often to inform international donors. Conclusions: This study provides important information for countries seeking to initiate action to strengthen their research capacity. There is a need for a comprehensive strategy with sustained investment in training and career development of researchers. There is also a need to create new funding systems to provide financial support to those undertaking policy-relevant research. International collaboration and investment in mechanisms to bridge the gap between research and policy are urgently required.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-354
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Bibliometrics
  • Europe, Eastern
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Public Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Research
  • USSR


Dive into the research topics of 'Mapping health research capacity in 17 countries of the former Soviet Union and south-eastern Europe: An exploratory study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this