Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC), as the national apical body for promoting health research across the country, has been working in strengthening evidence informed decision making in Nepal. Its primary functions are to regulate (ethics and related) health research in the country; generate and/or collate evidences so as to enhance its uptake in the national decision making as well as policy and plan development; enhancing research capacity in the country.
Health policies and plans as well as a majority of programs and interventions are still decided on ad-hoc basis in Nepal. However, the latest trend has been changing. There is an enhanced understanding of the importance of evidences in deciding such interventions and actions. The use of evidence in health decision making has been reflected in the national level policy development process. Regulating research in the country is a prime function of the NHRC to ensure ethic standard of research. We have been able to facilitate ethical approval of health research in the country through the national ethical review board as well as institutional review committees at the institutional level. High quality evidence generation especially from the studies at national level has been our priority and we thrive towards it in excellence. Evidence synthesis in the form of systematic reviews, scoping reviews, secondary data analysis will be one of the top priorities in the days to come. We aim at giving high importance to under-researched areas in the days to come with equal focus on rapidly growing non communicable diseases in the country. Capacity building through research trainings and grants has been found to be very helpful and we plan to continue it by scaling-up to national and provincial level with special focus on capacity building of health professionals in the national health care system.
In addition, regularly updating the research priorities to meet the health service needs of the Nepalese people will be our priority activities. Furthermore, we are moving ahead in developing the NHRC as evidence synthesis hub. We also keep national as well as international collaboration such as with academia and research organizations in top priority to build national research capacity. We continue to foster an enabling environment for evidence generation, high quality ethical research, as well as availability and uptake of evidences at all levels.