Our mission

COHRED, the Council on Health Research for Development, is a global, non-profit organisation whose singular goal is to maximize the potential of research and innovation to deliver sustainable solutions to the health and development problems of people living in low and middle-income countries.

Vision: All countries, no matter how poor, need research and innovation systems with which they can speed up progress towards a world in which health, equity and sustainable development are the norm … for everyone and everywhere. To achieve that, we aim to deliver essential value to each of our vital constituencies – people living in low and middle income countries, our clients in public, private and non-profit sectors, our financial supporters and investors, our partners, and to one another.

Mission: To provide leadership and effective solutions to support low and middle income countries to build their own research and innovation systems for health and development.

Our Big Goal: All low and low-middle income countries will have the basis of a well functioning national research and innovation system for health in place by 2025.

The added value that COHRED has brought to our work has come mainly through technical, financial and strategic support. However, I think the most significant contributions are the two tools ‘Health Research Web’ and ‘RHInnO Ethics’. These have enabled us to develop our own national research priorities and provide online platforms for health research.

Dr Samba Cor Sarr, Director of Research, Ministry of Health, Senegal.

The Solutions COHRED Delivers:

Global Leadership, Country Support, Connecting Ideas

  1. Global Leadership – generate ideas, insights, inspiration and intelligence for our constituencies to help change their world and ours
  2. Expert analysis and support – deliver innovative, high value solutions that maximize the use of research and innovation for health, equity and development in low and middle income countries, e.g. highest quality national management systems for research and innovation for health, top-end information and analytics solutions, leading research ethics review management tools, smarter international collaboration and partnerships
  3. Sustainable solutions to set priorities, support ethical review, build skills, and drive development of locally appropriate solutions and products
  4. Connecting People and Ideas – to create unique opportunities to generate innovative thinking and action in support of our mission


We aim for growth and impact in 4 areas:

  • Smarter and better resourced research and innovation systems in low and middle income countries – with which countries can increasingly generate knowledge and solutions to their own priority health and development problems and contribute to global health and equity.
  • Increased international support for research and innovation as key drivers for health, equity and development – in the ‘Beyond Aid’ era.
  • Increase our resource base – in size, diversification and predictability, and
  • Develop our global network – of board, staff, associates, partners – so we can scale up


The countries most affected by disease and poverty do the least research and get the least benefit of research and innovation

The distribution of researchers across the globe is skewed disproportionately towards wealthier countries. This lack of human resources for health research prevents low and middle income countries from contributing effectively to their own health, equity and development solutions and to those that are needed globally. As a result, the geographical distributions of health R&D investments, clinical trial research, and health research publications are heavily skewed towards high-income countries (The Lancet, 2013) and there is little correlation between the burden of disease attributable to a particular health condition or problem and the amount of clinical trial research being conducted on that health problem (World Health Bulletin, 2013). (http://www.uis.unesco.org/ScienceTechnology/Pages/default.aspx)

Number of Researchers per million inhabitants by Country

There are 33 ‘low income’ countries (per capita income of $1,035 or less), 46 ‘lower-middle income’ countries ($1,036 – 4.085) and 50 ‘upper-middle income’ countries ($4,086 – $12,615), per World Bank ranking in July 2013. (http://data.worldbank.org/news/new-country-classifications). Although accurate data on public and private spending in research and innovation for health is hard to get buy, the Global Forum for Health Research estimated that over 90% of the $130 billion spent on health research in 2009 was spent on diseases that cause only 10% of the world’s mortality.

This is the “10/90 Gap”.

COHRED 1 September 2013

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