NICHE Nijmegen International Centre for Health Systems research and education

NICHE was established in 2007, and now hosts some 15 researchers from both the Netherlands and low-income countries. We conduct scientific research and collaborate with implementing agencies to foster the transfer of knowledge into health. In our analysis, we preferably adopt a health-systems wide perspective, but we also carry out disease-oriented analyses concentrating on HIV/AIDS and Sexual and Reproductive Health. NICHE combines quantitative and qualitative research techniques to both evaluate policy impact and understand policy processes, and hence foster the generalisability of study findings.

NICHE performs projects in three research programmes.

i) Priority setting for health interventions: multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA), impact evaluation, economic analyses (including cost-effectiveness studies). NICHE has developed multi-criteria decision analysis in health as an innovative approach to prioritise interventions taking into account equity, efficiency, feasibility and ethical concerns. Currently NICHE is conducting research on this in Europe, Indonesia, Ghana and South Africa.

ii) Health systems responsiveness and sector performance: responsiveness to local demand and opportunities. In Malawi and Zambia, NICHE is conducting research on surgical response through the COST-Africa project while in Rwanda research is conducted on health systems determinants of maternal health.

iii) Health financing and social protection: Universal health coverage, equitable access, drivers of health service utilization, health insurance. For example, in Ghana and Indonesia NICHE currently evaluates strategies to enhance enrollment in the National Health insurance Scheme.

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