Spotlight Series: Knowledge Management

 PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre Spotlight Series 

Reference Number: BRA-76

Official Title: PAHO/WHO CC for Global Health and South-South Collaboration
Institution: Centro de Relações Internacionais em Saúde (CRIS), Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (FIOCRUZ)

Reference Number: CUB-27

Official Title: PAHO/WHO CC in Knowledge Management and Communication 
Institution: Centro Nacional de Información de Ciencias Médicas (INFOMED),  Ministerio de Salud Pública

Health Systems

Category 4 (SP 14-19)

Outcome 21 (SP 20-25)

Ms. Eliane Pereira dos Santos

Ms. Eliane Pereira dos Santos, Advisor, Knowledge Management and Networks, is the PAHO staff member who acts as the Region’s focal point to coordinate the collaboration between the institutions and the Organization.

The main activities of these Centres include: (1) collecting and disseminating of information, particularly in the Portuguese language; and (2) capacity building for knowledge management and information professionals.  

The Centre at the Centro de Relações Internacionais em Saúde (CRIS) at FIOCRUZ is supporting PAHO and the WHO Regional Office in Brazzaville, Congo (AFRO) in their efforts to revamp the WHO-initiated ePORTUGUESe Programme, which was active during 2005 - 2015. Due to this Centre’s expertise and Brazil’s role as the executive secretariat for the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP), this Centre was able to take a leadership role in the joint efforts to revamp the Programme. The Programme was tasked with the goal to establish Portuguese as an official language of WHO. However, to date this has not been formalized as neither WHO nor the UN has Portuguese as its official language.  

The Centre also supports the Organization with the Social Determinants of Health (SDH) agenda, by conducting an online workshop for 25 staff at FIOCRUZ  focused on the implementation of SDH, Health in All Policies (HiAP) framework and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Centre has also contributed to several publications related to the implementation of the SDH including a scoping study on “The 2030 Agenda and the SDGs Implementation in Latin America” and has delivered a set of recommendations at the PAHO Regional Consultation on the Health Promotion Plan and Strategy in the SDG Context in Washington DC (April 2018) and Rio de Janeiro (November 2018). The Centre also created the Health Political Analysis Observatory at the Center on Policies, Information and Studies on Social Determinants of Health (CEPI/DSS).  

The Centre at INFOMED in Cuba has been a long-standing partner for BIREME, whose most important products include the LILACS database and the Virtual Health Library (VHL). This Centre has supported BIREME in the development of the VHL model through the development of a national VHL for Cuba and serves as the "laboratory" of innovation for the regional VHL model. The Centre also supported BIREME by organizing several sessions during the 10th Regional Congress on Health Sciences Information (CRICS 10) in December 2018 and the 4th meeting of RedDes. The Centre continues to support BIREME with the development of features and software for the VHL including:  

  1. Proof of concept for the development of LILACS RDF (Resource Description Framework);  
  2. Proof of concept for the development of stand-alone solution to manage reference information sources based on FI-Admin web service developed and maintained by BIREME;  
  3. Revamping of VHL information architecture using VHL Cuba and Regional instance as the pilot projects;  
  4. Updating and translating of courses and methodological documents regarding LILACS cataloguing and indexing; and  
  5. Inclusion of CUMED database (Cuban Health Science Literature) in VHL Regional instance.  

Throughout the years, INFOMED has increasingly supported the Organization to increase digital literacy capacity in the Region and within the Organization. This includes the development of online training targeting documentalists and information professionals to develop/improve skills in working with health/medicine databases, journals, social media, reference machines, and systematic reviews. For example, the Centre organized three webinars for PAHO staff on Reference Machines (e.g. Zotero, EndNote, Mendeley), in September 2019 (2) and July 2020 (1). In total, 55 staff from PAHO participated in these virtual events.  

The Centre has also supported PAHO with the development of several concept notes (in-process). One of these concept notes focuses on how libraries and documentation centers can face the challenges of library and online collections in the digital era. Another concept note consists of identifying significant figures who have contributed substantially to public health in the Americas Region (Personalities of Public Health in the Americas). The result of this concept note is to create a portal to showcase these individuals’ accomplishments, such as Ciro de Quadros, who created the revolving fund for vaccinations and Carlos Finlay, who discovered yellow fever.

Webnotes such as these serve to inform on how CCs are contributing to the Organization’s priorities and mandates.