It’s over a year now since the third global symposium on health systems research took place in Cape Town. At the symposium, the science and practice of people-centred health systems took center stage. Almost 2000 participants represented 125 countries in Cape Town, so it clearly was a global conference. The 2014 edition of the Emerging Voices for Global Health (EV4GH) coincided with this event. Over 50 new emerging voices, young researchers seeking change through relevant health systems research and advocacy joined the now expanding global coalition led mainly by researchers from low- and middle-income countries. Soon it will be time for the fourth symposium: Health Systems Global, the international society of health systems researchers is already gearing up to launch the call for abstracts for the upcoming symposium to be held at Vancouver. The website is up and preparations are on!
On the heels of the next major health systems event in a country that feels refreshingly “new” since yesterday, the Emerging Voices for Global Health team is also gearing up for a shift.
A few months back, EV alumni organised themselves to come up with a new globally representative governance structure comprised of EV alumni from all regions:
* Prashanth Nuggehalli Srinivas (Institute of Public Health, Bangalore) (South-East Asian region)- Chair;
* Dorcus Kiwanuka Henrikson (Karolinska Institutet) (East/South African region)- co-chair;
* Jin Xu (Peking University) (Western Pacific region) – treasurer;
* Arsene Kpangon (University of Parakou) (West/Central African region);
* Vladimir Gordeev (London School Of Economics) (European region);
* Asmat Malik (AMZ Consulting, Pakistan) (Eastern Mediterranean region) – co-chair;
* Elena Vargas (Independent Researcher) (Region of the Americas) – Secretary.
Two liaison (and not elected) members complete the Governance team: Kopano Mabaso (liaison with HS Global); Kristof Decoster (liaison with ITM).
Together, the new EV4GH governance hopes to improve the scope, reach and impact of the EV event in future editions. After the new governance team was put together, the EV4GH group has been closely interacting with the WHO Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research as well as with Health Systems Global, both entities being important partners and well-wishers for us. Indeed, over the coming months, EV4GH hopes to pursue a systematic collaboration with Health Systems Global and eventually integrate in some way with the society.
This month, with the help of ITM’s EV team, a new secretariat is being established for the EV4GH at the Institute of Public Health Bangalore (IPH). IPH has been an early partner of the EV4GH having been involved since the first edition that was held in association with the first global symposium on health systems research in Montreux. For the coming year, the team at IPH (including Prashanth N S, the Chair of the EV governance group and Sophia Thomas, the secretary for the EV governance) hopes to take forward this new phase in the EV4GH evolution.
IPH is of course not alone in this. With the support of various EV partner institutions including the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp (ITM), Belgium; the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI); University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa; University of the Western Cape (UWC), Cape Town, South Africa; Peking University Health Science Center (PUHSC), Beijing, China, the new secretariat at IPH is all set to launch a call for fresh EVs to participate in the 4th global symposium at Vancouver. We foresee a new and vibrant bunch of researchers, implementers and other health system actors to be selected in this edition to participate and constructively engage and challenge the global health discussions at the symposium. This year, the new EV2016’s will gather a few weeks before the symposium in Vancouver for a face-to-face training and will again try to enliven the discussions at the symposium. We look forward to welcoming a fresh batch of Emerging Voices for Global Health!