News & Updates

December 2011

Global Health Workforce: Pathways to Health Irish Forum for Global Health International Conference hosted by Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland 2-3 February 2012

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS respond to:ifghconf2012@rcsi.ie

5.00 pm Dublin time 21st December 2011 is the first deadline for submitting abstracts from which most abstract-driven oral presentations will be selected, so as to facilitate those coming from outside Ireland. Late breaker submissions will be considered up to 5.00 pm Monday 16th January 2012

The Irish Forum for Global Health are inviting abstracts from individuals, partnerships and organisations who have been or are doing work that aims to contribute to the health workforce in relation to its impact on health in low and middle income countries.

Submissions may take the form of research findings, evaluations of programmes and projects, lessons from the field, or other forms of systematic learning on health workforce issues (i.e. they should be more than personal opinion or anecdote).

The conference, which will take place at RCSI, Stephens Green, Dublin, will include:

  • Plenary sessions with panels of invited international and national speakers
  • Oral presentations in parallel thematic sessions – abstract driven and invited speakers
  • Oral poster presentations and posters
  • Global Village activities – see description at end of Abstract Submission Guidelines

Abstract Guidelines are available for download here: http://globalhealth.ie/uploads/files/Guidelines%20to%20submitting%20abstracts%20IFGH%20Conf%202012.pdf

For any questions or clarifications, please contact: ifghconf2012@rcsi.ie

Further information about the conference, registration and speakers will be posted on www.globalhealth.ie

May 2011

GHIN colleagues based at Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and the Institute of Economic and Social Research, University of Zambia have just published a Report and Policy Brief on the evolution and sustainability of Community Based Organisations in Mumbwa district. 

March 2011

GHIN members held a dissemination event in Lusaka on 2nd March. The event - ‘The changing role of CBOs providing HIV and AIDS services – lessons from Mumbwa district - was Chaired by the Director General of the National AIDS Council, Dr Ben Chirwa. Senior representatives of the relevant Ministries (Education, Health and Social Protection) and almost all of the major donors and development agencies attended: Irish Aid, DfID, USAID, EU, JICA, World Bank, UNDP attended. Click here for the presentation of findings and draft recommendations. The summary report and recommendations will be posted here soon.

January 2011

Under the slogan "Empower health workers for health outcomes", the 2nd Global Forum on Human Resources for Health is taking place in Bangkok 25-29th January. GHIN has a presence at the Forum with professors Ruairi Brugha and David Sanders presenting at Parallel Session 4 - 'Do GHIs contribute to equity in access to HRH?' You can download a draft agenda of the event here. Slides for this presentation will be uploaded shortly.

The journal Health Policy and Planning published a special supplement at the end of 2010 on health systems strengthening. The supplement includes articles reporting findings from case studies on critical interactions between the Global Fund-supported programs and health systems in Lao, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Thailand and Nepal. Continuing the flurry of interest in GHIs, a special edition on HIV/AIDS published by the journal Global Health Governance also includes new research on the Global Fund. 

December 2010

David Hotchkiss and researchers from Tulane University with a team of researchers at Miz-Hasab Research Centre have published a Report on the System Wide Effects of the scale up of HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria services in Ethiopia. Please go to the Ethiopia country page for further details about GHI research in Ethiopia, and visit the Health Systems 20/20 site for additional information. 

November 2010

GHIN and collaborating network Connecting Health Research in Africa and Ireland Consortium (CHRAIC) funded researchers to attend the First Global Symposium on Health Systems Research, 16-19th November.

GHIN hosted a number of workshops during the Symposium:

  • On the 15th November, GHIN, together with the Council for Health Research and Development (COHRED), the Consortium for Research on Equitable Health System (CREHS) and CHRAIC co-hosted a pre-symposium satellite workshop - Health policy and systems research capacity: levels, partnerships and assessment - the focus of which was country level capacity for undertaking and utilising Health Policy and Systems Research (HPSR). The event reached full capacity. See our flyer for further details of the event, and our Session Summary of what was discussed.
  • GHIN colleagues on the EU INCO funded 'GHIs in Africa Project' hosted a satellite session - Global Health Initiatives: From Health Systems to Global Governance

 October 2010 

Partners meet in New York for the second meeting of the 3rd voluntary replenishment, 4-5th October

The highly anticipated follow-up to the March 2010 meeting of Global Fund partners in The Hague starts today. On the 5th, donors will announce how much they will pledge to the Fund for the period 2011-2013. Developing countries will be looking closely at the Replenishment outcomes as they  will have direct bearing on their ability to achieve the health Millennium Development Goals by 2015. The replenishments were announced on the 5th Oct. $11.7bn has been committed by donors for the Global Fund for the years 2011-2013. This is $2bn more than for the period 2008-10 but significantly less than the $20bn some sectors were calling for. 

Update on Global Symposium on Health Systems Research

GHIN, CHRES, COHRED, and CHRAIC have produced a flyer with details of their Pre-Symposium Workshop on Health Policy and Systems Research Capacity. If you plan to attend the workshop, it will help our planning if you email Fiona Wright (see the flyer for Fiona's email contact). Here is the link to all the Symposium satellite sessions, which includes a session on GHIs - Global Health Initiatives impact: from health systems to global governance (link not yet active).

July 2010

GHIN at XVIII International AIDS Conference, Vienna

The 18th International AIDS Conference ended on Friday 23rd following a week of exciting announcements about microbicide gels, international commitment to rights, but also concerns about the future of funding for HIV/AIDS. There was a strong GHIN presence at the conference, with GHIN researchers giving Posters, Oral Abstracts, Chairing sessions and presenting in Plenary. A full list of presentations can be viewed on our Conferences page. For those of you unable to attend, the Kaiser Family Foundation provided webcasts of all of the key sessions during the week. Please click on the links below to view contributions to the Conference from GHIN members.

Tuesday July 20th:  Wim van Damme from the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, and GHIN member Chairs - Human Resources: the Ultimate Bottleneck

Wednesday July 21st: Ruairi Brugha from Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland and GHIN co-Director presents research findings from Malawi and Zambia during the Session - When does HIV Funding strengthen health systems? (Download the powerpoint presentation).

Thursday July 22nd: Carlos Caceres from Cayetano Heredia University, Lima, and GHIN researcher presented at the Plenary Session: Combination HIV Prevention: What’s New?

A "perfect storm" threatens funding for HIV/AIDS

More than 4 million people now receive ART, according to the WHO's latest Progress Report. This is good news, but it is still only a small fraction of the estimated 22 million the Report argues will need treatment in 2015. Combine this with the following: a) the need for a five-fold increase in funding - $10bn was donated in 2007 compared to the $50bn required to fund HIV/AIDS by 2015; b) WHO's recommendations that better (and more expensive drugs) be used for treatment; c) WHO's further recommendation that ART be available to treat younger patients; and d) the Global Fund's request in 2008 that recipients decrease Round 8 budgets by 10%, and it is easy to see why researchers from Boston University School of Medicine argue that we are facing a "perfect storm" in the fight against HIV/AIDS. 

The newswires were very active during the International AIDS Conference, reporting on the financing of the Global Fund. Associated Press correspondent Veronika Oleksyn reported on the prospect of a financially strapped Global Fund when donors meet in New York in October to pledge future financial commitments to the Fund - Funding woes overshadow AIDS conference. Richard Ingham, from Agence Presse-France, reported Michel Kazatchkine's comment at the Conference that emerging economies - India and China - now had to 'do their bit' for the Fund - China, India should open their wallets for AIDS war: Global Fund

June 2010

In a press release on 18th June, USAID announced the first round of 'GHI Plus' countries to receive support from President Obama's $63bn Global Health Initiative. The eight countries are: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nepal, and Rwanda. According to the announcement, "These eight will receive additional technical and management resources to quickly implement GHI's approach, including integrated programs and investments across the spectrum of infectious diseases, maternal and child health, family planning, and health systems activities".

May 2010

Just out in the journal Health Policy and Planning, an article by Dodd (WHO) and Lane (IMF) on predictability of funding from seven global health partnerships (including Global Fund, PEPFAR, World Bank and GAVI). A document summary will be available on our database shortly.

The Global Fund launched its R10 Call for Proposals on 20th May and will be open until 20th August 2010. The new Round incorporates two new features: a newly approved Community Systems Strengthening (CSS) framework and $200m (over 5 years) of funding specifically for Most At Risk Populations in countries with concentrated epidemics. Proposals submitted through the new funding stream will not compete for funding with proposals from low-income countries with generalised epidemics.

The Global Fund has launched a new campaign 'Born HIV-free' using the online media YouTube to help it raise $20bn over the next three years. Writing in the Guardian newspaper, Sarah Boseley writes in the Guardian: "Videos will be available to download, in which animated babies float about to the music of U2 and Winehouse". The wife of the French President - and ambassador for the Global Fund - has also lent her support to the campaign. The Global Fund hopes that the campaign will 'go viral' in time as more people spread its message online through social networking sites.

The Centre for Global Development's Global Health Policy unit has published a report and policy brief on performance-based funding and GHIs in Mozambique, Uganda and Zambia. In his blog, CGD's David Wendt argues that three broad themes are currently guiding GHI policy in relation to PBF: 1) Strengthening and relying on nation information systems; 2) Harmonizing and aligning performance targets both among AIDS donors and with countries’ priorities; 3) Attribution vs. Contribution. 

The Journal Health Services Research will be publishing a theme edition on global health systems research in October 2010. Visit our Conferences and Calls for Papers page for further details

GHIN colleagues at the Institute for Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, have launched an essay writing competition - Call for Emerging Voices in Global Public Health: Towards Universal Health Coverage in developing countries. Winners of the competition will be invited to attend and present at ITM's 52nd Annual Colloquium: Universal Healthcare

April 2010

An article published in the Lancet by Chunling Lu and colleagues - Public financing of health in developing countries: a cross-national systematic analysis - has proved controversial with researchers and policy makers. 

The authors argue that for every $1 of Development Assistance for Health (DAH) from donors - including Global Fund, GAVI and PEPFAR - government Ministries of Finance reduced their share of general government expenditure going to health by between $0.43-$1.14. DAH to NGOs, on the other hand, led governments to increase allocation of domestic resources to the health sector. 

The Lancet also published two comments: A paper by GHIN associates at the Institute of Tropical Medicine - Crowding out: are relations between international health aid and government health funding too complex to be captured in averages only?; and a paper by Devi Sridhar and Ngaire Woods - Are there simple conclusions on how to channel health funding? 

 March 2010 

Global Fund 1st Meeting of the 3rd Voluntary Replenishment (2011-2013), the Hague 24-25th March: Read about the meeting

Global Fund's 2010 Progress Report now published: View the Report - Innovation and Impact

The role of GHIs in Ethiopia's health system: An article in Journal of Public Health Policy looks at the "new dichotomy" in funding health systems and the role GHIs might play

GAVI funding gap reported in the Lancet: A Comment in the lancet this month (Vol 375, p791) by Ann D Usher GAVI enters its second with massive funding gap points out that GAVI will have to raise up to US$4 billion to pay for new activities during the next 5 years

Jan 2010: PEPFAR prioritises research

Nature Medicine reports on PEPFAR head Ambassador Goosby's town hall address in Dec 2009. Goosby said that operations research "used to assess the effectiveness or impact of programs, needs to play a larger part" and in the future "PEPFAR will encourage studies that involve multiple countries and coordinated methodologies". In the past, PEPFAR has heavily micro-managed the research of its grants, resulting in some universities returning its funding. It's not clear whether PEPFAR has relaxed its management practices. It has, however, committed to making PEPFAR country data more accessible to researchers.

Jan 2010: Two new articles on GHIs in Brazil and Rwanda just published in Tropical Medicine and International Health

Le Loup et al's article 'International institutions, Global health Initiatives and the challenge of sustainability: Lessons from the Brazilian AIDS Programme' reviews the World Bank AIDS programmes in Brazil from 1990s to date and offers lessons for sustainability of future AIDS programmes. Absence of NGO advocacy, local political instability, high turnover of health workers and rapid emergence of other diseases are 'red flags' marking sustainability loss. 

Kalk et al' study 'Health systems strengthening through insurance subsidies: the GFATM experience in Rwanda' reports PEPFAR and GF directly and indirectly funding salaries, with a 10x fold increase for nurses from 2003 to 2007; key indicators of health status improved during the same period; increased insurance coverage (and thus GF support) increased health utilisation rate; and insuffcient staff seriously hampering functioning of Rwanda's health system. Document summaries of these articles will be searchable shortly on our database

Jan 2010: Zambia researchers prepare for local and national dissemination of research findings

Researchers in Zambia are holding a series of dissemination events to raise awareness of their study findings (a Final Report will be uploaded to the Country Studies section of the GHIN website soon). District-level events in Mumbwa on the 15th and Kabwe on the 22nd will be followed by a national event in Lusaka on the 29 January.

Based on the aim of the Zambia study and need to communicate the findings, the purpose of the dissemination workshops is to bring to programme implementers and policy-makers the findings in order to inform policy and programming. The workshops will provide an appropriate forum for engaging with relevant stakeholders, including government agencies such as MOH and NAC, non-government organisations and international donors. 

During this study, early and ongoing dialogue with key stakeholders has been critical in their engagement in the process.  Consulting stakeholders in the early stages and at appropriate intervals has helped ensure that the study is relevant to current needs and implementation challenges. The dissemination will be based on the final report which highlights and provides policy-relevant information and makes policy and programme-relevant recommendations.

We wish the Zambia team every success with their work.

Oct 2009: Researchers in Zambia have just produced four Policy Briefs of findings from their country study

GHIN researchers based in Zambia have produced a Policy Brief - Tracking Global HIV/AIDS Initiatives and their Effects on the Health System in Zambia - summarising their country study findings. In addition, they have produced three supplementary Policy Briefs on specific areas of Zambia's health system: Human Resources, Coordination and Scaling Up 

 Oct 2009: GHIN researchers in Peru have just produced a policy brief of findings from Phase 2 of their country study

GHIN researchers based in Lima have just published a Policy Brief - 'Lessons Learned from the Collaboration with the Global Fund for AIDS-related Projects in Peru'. Please visit the Peru Country Study page to view two recently published journal articles (where there is also a link to a Spanish-language version). The research team has also just had a new article accepted for publication with the journal Global Public Health - further details to follow shortly.

 July 2009: GHIN members present posters at the 5th IAS conference in Cape Town

The 5th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention was held in Cape Town from 19-22nd July. A number of GHIN members attended and you can view their presentations and posters below: 

Regien Biesma from Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) gave an oral presentation The Impact of Donor Agency Funding Strategies on National Responses: The case of Lesotho 

Researchers from the Health Policy Analysis Unit of the Center for Health System Development in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, presented two posters:

 July 2009: The Kyrgyz team has just completed their final report: ‘Tracking Global HIV/AIDS Initiatives and their Impact on the Health System: the experience of the Kyrgyz Republic’

The Kyrgyz team has just completed their final report ‘Tracking Global HIV/AIDS Initiatives and their Impact on the Health System: the experience of the Kyrgyz Republic’. This study, conducted by researchers from the Health Policy Analysis Unit of the Center for Health System Development in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, assesses the effects for HIV/AIDS of the Global Fund and the World Bank’s Central Asian AIDS Project (CAAP) at national and sub-national levels, including the effects on HIV/AIDS service scale-up coordination, human resources, and access to HIV/AIDS services. A Policy Brief summarising the findings of the Report has also been uploaded to the Kyrgyz country study page  

 July 2009: GHIN country teams produce country case summaries for the WHO Maximizing Positive Synergies initiative

Maximizing Positive Synergies is a WHO initiative which aims to commission, collate and synthesise evidence on interactions between GHIs and country health systems and to use this to inform global and national health policy and development.  Positive Synergies was launched in May 2008, two years after the establishment of GHIN.  Findings were presented at a high level meeting of ministers of health in Venice Italy, June 22-3, hosted by Italy on behalf of the G8 Group of countries.  Details can be found on WHO website.

Eight GHIN country studies have contributed case summaries and recommendations to the G8 process.  The WHO will finalise a report with recommendations to be published at the G8 heads of state meeting in Italy in July. Participating GHIN country teams include China, Ukraine, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Peru, South Africa and Zambia. These country case summaries can be found on the country specific pages of this site. The academic case studies book will soon be available.

June 2009: GHIN Writing Workshop, London 

GHIN hosted a Writing Workshop in London from 23-25th June. Country researchers benefited from peer review feedback on Working Papers, and also discussed opportunities for cross-cutting analysis. Ruairi Brugha from RCSI presented findings from a comparative study of GHI effects on Human Rresources in Malawi and Zambia.

 June 2009: GHIN contributes to Lancet policy piece “An assessment of interactions between global health initiatives and country health systems”

This multi-authored policy piece, by the WHO Maximizing Positive Synergies Collaborative Group and published on 19 June 2009, reviews existing data, and includes 15 new studies that were submitted to the WHO to describe the nature of the interplay between country health systems and GHIs. Some general recommendations and action points are made, for international partners, governments and other stakeholders. Many GHIN members are co-authors with WHO and other global stakeholders. This policy piece can be accessed at The Lancet Website.

 June 2009: Systematic Review of evidence on GHIs

GHIN coordinators have recently had a systematic review of evidence on GHIs published in the journal Health Policy and Planning entitled “The effects of global health initiatives on country health systems: a review of the evidence from HIV/AIDS control”.This paper reviews country level evidence about the impact of PEPFAR, Global Fund and PEPFAR on country health systems, drawing on 31 original country and cross-country articles and reports between 2002 and 2007. This article can be found at: http://heapol.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/czp025

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