A critical step towards a strong EVIPNet is a robust cohesive country team, with representation of key stakeholders such as representatives from the national health authority, the science and technology council, the research and academic community, and civil society. There have been significant recent developments in the field of translation of evidence to policy and a systematic, structured approach to capacity building provides an opportunity to strengthen in-country expertise. To this end, PAHO is developing a comprehensive Skills Building Strategy (SB Strategy) based on the consensus among the Americas’ teams and PAHO’s Advisory Committee on Health Research that further training in specific areas related to the work of EVIPNet should be a priority.
Many of the EVIPNet countries have identified assistance in this area as part of their technical cooperation agreements with PAHO. To this end THR/RP, in collaboration with HSS/HR, developed a proposal for the SB Strategy and invited a group of experts including WHO Regional Advisors and members of the EVIPNet Global Steering Group, and PAHO/WHO representatives to validate and strengthen the plan. A first expert and stakeholders meeting took place in Geneva on October 10-11th.thanks to the financial support of Health Canada1. A final proposal was developed based on the recommendations that emerge form this meeting2. The document describes the goals and objectives of the SB Strategy, lists the necessary competencies as agreed by the expert consultation in Geneva and cross references these competencies with the corresponding activities that are expected from EVIPNet teams. Furthermore, it includes a list of priority courses and learning objectives together with a brief description of the educational methodology.
To our knowledge, this is the first time that the competencies for a knowledge transfer team have been defined. Due to the novelty of this approach and the complexity of the process, it proved to be a challenging task. However, the multi-partner consultation allowed building a comprehensive strategy with direct application to the Americas certainly useful to other EVIPNet Regions.
1 Meeting participants: John Lavis (Mc Master University), Jeremy Grimshaw (University of Ottawa), Xavier Bonfill (Coordinator of the Iberoamerican Cochrane Network), Zulma Ortiz (Academia Nacional de Medicina, Argentina), George Gotsadze (Curatio International Foundation- AHPSR), Ulysses Panisset (WHO), Isabelle Huguet (WHO) and Issa Sanou (AFRO/WHO) and Luis Gabriel Cuervo (PAHO/THR), Analía Porrás (PAHO/THR).
2 This final document was developed through a collaboration between HSS/HR (Dra Rosa María Borrell), THR/RP (Dra. Analía Porrás) and external experts (Dr. Marcelo García Dieguez, Centro Colaboradore Cochrane –Academia Nacional de Medicina, Argentina)