WP Research annual report

Structure & membership

Chair of the group is Prof Felicity Goodyear-Smith. The group membership is organised by entry into an excel spreadsheet and by membership of a Google Group (WONCA Research Assembly). There are currently a total of 90 members in the Working Party. All members provide a brief bio which are listed on the website.

The WP-R Executive consists of Chair, Regional representatives (Marvin Reid, North America: Bob Mash, Africa; Mehmet Akman, Europe; Ryuki Kasai, Asia Pacific; Raman Kumar, South Asia; Jacqueline Ponzo, Iberoamericana), Young Doctor representative (Nagwa Nashat) and Chris van Weel as panel workshop convenor.

The Council includes other active members involved in the Ariadne Research project (Bob Phillips, Amanda Howe, Michael Kidd, Andrew Bazemore), members who are key players in WONCA (Shabir Moosa, WONCA Africa President) and others actively involved in WP-R projects (Joyce Kendre).

The effect on outcomes of country-specific strategies and primary health care strength in COVID-19 pandemic response: an international study

Felicity Goodyear-Smith is leading an international study on the influence of PHC in a country’s successful response to COVID-19. Other researchers are Working Party members Prof Bob Phillips and Assoc Prof Andrew Bazemore, plus three other team members (Karen kinder, Stefan Strydom and Cristina Mannie). This study is endorsed by WONCA. WONCA Management, Executive and Working Party on Research members have been actively engaged in promoting and disseminating the international survey to their colleagues and networks. The survey finishes on 30 April, and following analyses, papers will be submitted for consideration in peer-reviewed journals. The research team would like to thank WONCA members for their support.

Comparative PHC system workshops

The WWP-R continues to run panels / workshops whereby different countries compare how their primary care is organised, using regional coordinators in the different WONCA regions. A template to prepare the slides is provided (panel project resources). These are led by Prof Chris van Weel. The slides have been updated for 2020. The current focus is on PHC policy and covers the clinical disciplines working in PHC in the community, training and registration, PHC as the point of access for health care, relationship of PHC to other community services, how teams support or impede response to community needs, how PHC is financed, PHC strengths, barriers and lessons for other countries.

AfriWon Research Collaborative Online Research Training and Mentorship

In September 2019, working party member Prof Chelsea McGuire lead the launch of a pilot online research training and mentorship program targeting trainee and early career family physicians in sub-Saharan Africa, called AfriWon Research Collaborative. The curriculum for this program is based on the afore mentioned book How to do Primary Care Research. The pilot programme is guided by an Advisory Group that meets quarterly that includes membership by Profs Goodyear-Smith and Mash.

PHC Research Consortium

The inaugural meeting of the Primary Health Care Research Consortium was held in Delhi India in Feb 2020. WONCA holds one of the six seats on the steering committee, represented by Felicity Goodyear-Smith. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has given the Consortium funding to establish itself over the next two years. There is funding for two small projects based on the priority questions developed during the Ariadne Lab projects in 2018.

The Research Consortium is Chaired by Prof Bob Mash, from Stellenbosch University, South Africa. who represents Primafamed (the academic arm of WONCA Africa). A full report from the first meeting has been tabled separately to WONCA Executive.

Practical Guide to Primary Care Educational Research

Profs Mehmet Akman and Felicity Goodyear-Smith, in collaboration with Prof Val Wass, Chair of the Working Party on Education, are editing a book entitled Practical Guide to Primary Care Educational Research. This is another in the WONCA series to be published by CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Publishing, as a companion to our previous books How to do Primary Care Research edited by F Goodyear-Smith and B Mash, 2018, and International Perspectives in Primary Care Research, edited by F Goodyear-Smith and B Mash, 2016.

A number of experts from around the world, including members of the Working Party on Research, are writing the chapters. The book should be published in 2021.

WONCA Besrour Prize for Emerging Researchers from LMIC

Dr Sadok Besrour from the Besrour Centre for Global Family Medicine at the College of Family Physicians of Canada is generously making available awards for the best oral and poster presentations by an emerging researcher from a low- or middle-income country (LMIC). at the WONCA World conference in Abu Dhabi. Awards are $5,000 (USD) for the best oral presentation, and $2,000 (USD) for the best poster presentation. To be eligible, researchers must have started their research career within the last five years, are the first author, are from a LMIC and conducted their research predominantly or exclusively in a LMIC. Recipients of the Taiwan Family Medicine Research award will not be eligible. The winners will be presented with their awards at the closing ceremony.


The WP-R website has been updated. It includes our mission statement; how to join; the bios of the 90 current members, and updated templates for the panel projects.

WONCA Webinar

On Sunday 31 May, the WP-R hosted the last in the first series of WONCA webinars. This primarily addressed research activities around the COVID-19 pandemic. Profs Bob Phillips and Andrew Bazemore presented early findings from an international primary care survey; Prof Michael Kidd shared learnings from the primary care response in Australia, and action research running alongside this; Prof Felicity Goodyear-Smith gave a brief update on the quick regular COVID-19 family medicine practice survey being run in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand; Prof Chris van Weel presented an analysis of Nijmegen PBRN of changes in practice, changes in presented health problems since 1st COVID-19 case identified in Netherlands; Prof Bob Mash gave a brief update on the international Primary Health Care Research Consortium (of which WONCA is a founding member), and our incoming Chair, Prof Mehmet Akman, told us about the new WP book ‘A practical guide to primary care educational research’.

Plans for the future

In addition to the activities outlined above, the WP-R focus will include:
1. Efforts to build research capacity in LMICs, and help change the poor regard to primary care research in these countries. Strengthening our connection with the Besrour Centre and working with the PHC Research Consortium will assist here.

2. Comparative country studies with focus on the primary care infrastructure and their effectiveness (in the current rounds the emphasis has been on primary care policy).

3. Support for WONCA conferences in presenting primary care research and evidence.

Succession planning

At WONCA World in Abu Dhabi, Nov 2020 Prof Felicity Goodyear-Smith will step down as Chair after two successive two-year terms. Her successor is Prof Mehmet Akman, School of Medicine, Marmara University, Turkey. Mehmet has been a very active member of the Working Party and will lead the group forward with innovation and enthusiasm.

Prof Felicity Goodyear-Smith.