Working Party on Research annual report

Prof Felicity Goodyear-Smith Chair reports on 2017-18 activities.

Join our working party

The WONCA Working Party on Research has been very active in the past year, the membership has grown and communication is maintained via a Google discussion group, with 68 members of the Research Assembly.


Our 2nd book, How to do Primary Care Research (Editors WWPR Chair Felicity Goodyear-Smith & Bob Mash) was completed and sent to the publisher (CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group) in February 2018. We are hoping it will be ready to be formally launched at the Seoul WONCA World meeting in October 2018.

WP member Chris van Weel is also co-editing a book with WONCA President Amanda Howe on a snapshot of the status of primary health care development around the world (also CRC Press). This is based on a number of the cross-nation panels organised by the WP, many of which have been published in peer reviewed journals. It is hoped this will also be ready for launching at Seoul.


The WWPR 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).

• Eastern Mediterranean: The 2017 Eastern Mediterranean panel (Bahrein, Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar, Sudan United Arab Emirates) has been published (Van Weel C, Alnasir F, Farahat T, Usta J, Osman M, Malik M, Nashat N, Alsharief W, Sanousi S, Salah H, Tarawneh M, Goodyear-Smith F, Howe A, Kassai R. Primary Health Care Policy Implementation in the East Mediterranean region – experiences of six countries. European Journal of General Practice. 2018. 24(1):39-44). 10.1080/13814788.2017.1397624).

• The 2018 Eastern Mediterranean panel (Algeria, Kuwait, Morocco, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Iraq) took place in Mar 2018 in Kuwait. A paper is being written.

• Europe: A panel was held with four countries (Ukraine, Romania, Macedonia and Finland) at WONCA Europe Regional Conference in Prague in June 2017, led by Prof Mehmet Ungan. No publication planned.

• Africa: A panel of speakers from Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Ethiopia was convened at the WONCA Africa meeting in Pretoria, South Africa in Aug 2018. This has been written up, and a paper in press (Mash R, Howe A, Olayemi O, Makwere M, Ray S, Gyuse A, Goodyear-Smith F. Reflections on family medicine and primary health care in sub-Saharan Africa BMJ Global Health. In press).

• South America: Another workshop comparing systems in México, Republic of Dominicana, Argentina, Paraguay, Ecuador and Panamá was held at the WONCA Iberoamericana-CIMF Regiona Conference Aug 2017, Lima, Peru, led by Lidia Caballero and Jacqueline Ponzo. This will be included in the book and they are also considering publication in a Spanish journal.

• Asia Pacific: A panel involving Australia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam was held at WONCA Asia Pacific Regional Conference Nov 2017, Pattaya, Thailand, led by Ryuki Kassai. Paper has been submitted to Family Practice
(Kassai,R; Van Weel, C; Flegg, K; Tong, S; Han, T; Noknoy, S; An, Pham L; Dashtseren, M; Ng, CJ; Khoo, EM; Noh, KM; Lee, MC; Howe, A; Goodyear-Smith, F. Primary health care policy implementation in the Asia Pacific region – experiences of six countries)

• Mexico: A panel discussion at NAPCRG in Colorado has been published (Ramirez-Aranda J, Van Weel C, Goodyear-Smith F. Strategies for Increasing the role of family medicine in Mexican health care reform. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 2017. 30:843-847. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2017.06.170024)

• A panel discussion was also held at the 2017 NAPCRG conference in Montreal and has led to a publication (Van Weel C Van Turnbull D, Bazemore A, Garcia-Penãs C, Roland M. Glazier Rh, Phillips B, Goodyear-Smith F Implementing primary health care policy under changing global political conditions: lessons learned from 4 national settings. Annals Family Medicine 2018;16:179-180. DOI

Research Capacity Building

Africa: In my role as Chair of the WP-R I spent a month in South Africa to assist in family medicine research capacity building. I supported family medicine registrars and other postgraduate students at the Universities of Walter Sisulu, Limpopo and Stellenbosch with their research projects, and ran scientific writing workshops. My reflections are in press (Goodyear-Smith F. Collaborative postgraduate training in family medicine and primary care: reflections on my visit to South Africa. African Journal Primary Health Care and Family Medicine. 2018. In press). I also ran a writing workshop at WONCA Africa in Pretoria, Aug 2017.

Europe: Members of WPR ran a workshop on scientific writing at the WONCA Europe Regional Conference in Prague, Czech Republic in July 2017, and a further one in Thailand in November 2017. A master set of slides on how to write is available for members to run these workshops, as well as an interactive exercise on critiquing and correcting a poorly written abstract. A similar workshop is planned for WONCA Europe in Krakow, Poland, in May 2018.

WONCA World: A scientific writing workshop will be run by WP-R members at WONCA World, Korea, Oct 2018.

WONCA WP-R and other WONCA members successfully bid for a research grant Identifying and closing gaps in primary health research and implementation of organisation and financing in low and middle income countries funded by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. I am the lead and team members are Prof Amanda Howe, President of WONCA; Dr Andrew Bazemore, Director of the Robert Graham Center, USA; Prof Robert Phillips, Vice President for Research and Policy of the American Board of Family Medicine, USA; Ms Megan Coffman, and Dr Hannah Jackson, Robert Graham Center, USA; Mr Ricky Fortier, University of Auckland, NZ; Prof Michael Kidd, Past president of WONCA; Prof Chris van Weel, Past president of WONCA; Dr Henry Lawson, University of Ghana, and WONCA president for Africa; Prof Kanu Bala, University of Science & Technology Chittagong, Bangladesh and WONCA president for South Asia; Assoc Prof Inez Padula Rio de Janeiro State University, Brazil and WONCA president for South America.

This study is currently underway and will be completed at the end of August. It will lead to at least two peer-reviewed publications. We will also attend a workshop in Liverpool, UK at the 5th Global Symposium on Health Systems Research conference which will serve as a forum for donors to learn more about the work and proposed future research leading from the project.

Conference workshops
WP members are involved in a number of conference workshops. For example:

• WONCA Europe, Krakow Poland, May 2018:
1. Identification of Research Gaps to Enable Better Primary Health Care Models of Care and Financing in Low and Middle-Income Countries. Goodyear-Smith F, Howe A, Kidd M, van Weel C.
2. Scientific writing and publishing workshop Felicity Goodyear-Smith, Karen Flegg, Mehmet Akman

• WONCA World, Seoul, October 2018:
3. Identification of research gaps to enable better primary health car e models of care and financing in low and middle-income countries Felicity Goodyear-Smith, Amanda Howe, Chris van Weel, Andrew Bazemore, Robert Phillips, Michael Kidd, Kanu Bala, Henry Lawson, Inez Padula
4. Scientific writing and publishing workshop Felicity Goodyear-Smith, Karen Flegg, Mehmet Akman, Kyle Hoedebecke
5. Developing PHC measures – is it possible to capture the values of PHC? Chris van Weel, Felicity Goodyear-Smith, Ryuki Kassai, Andrew Bazemore
6. Profiles of Primary Health Care Policy Implementation around the World – from current experiences towards the next phase Chris van Weel, Felicity Goodyear-Smith, Ryuki Kassai, Andrew Bazemore
7. Academic family medicine Amanda Howe, C Michael Kidd, Chris van Weel, Felicity Goodyear-Smith, Val Wass

Other initiatives

Joyce Kenkre, Christos Lionis and colleagues have prepared a position paper on Current and future priorities in primary care. With colleagues they ran a workshop on Collaborative Prioritisation, planning and Preparation for Future Funded Research Calls with 16 European countries at the 7th EURIPA Health Forum, November 2017 in Crete and developed three top research priorities.