Methodology and criteria for setting national health research priorities in Bhutan: a workshop report

  • Debbie L. Humphries Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT USA
  • Hannah Ingber Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT USA
  • Mongal Singh Gurung Ministry of Health, Thimphu, Bhutan
  • Kaveh Khoshnood Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT USA



The Bhutanese health system is committed to providing health services for all citizens and is interested in strengthening the country’s health research capacity. The objectives of this workshop were to understand the range of health research activities in Bhutan; to formulate a prioritized research agenda for the Ministry of Health (MoH); to share challenges, gaps and opportunities in health research; and to provide insights for future prioritization exercises. The MoH partnered with Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical University of Bhutan and USA-based facilitators to develop and pilot a methodology for health research priority setting.  The Bhutan priority setting process was adapted from the Combined Approach Matrix and the Essential National Health Research methods.  The methodology proved successful in the systematic creation of a list of health research priorities. Future priority setting processes will build on this workshop, continuing to refine and strengthen the priority setting process in Bhutan. 

Keywords: Combined approach matrix; Essential national health research; Health research priority.


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