Happy New Year! We at Health Systems Global (HSG) want to wish you all the best and great success for 2019, and also would like to provide an update on what have we achieved together in 2018 and what lies ahead in 2019.
The Global Symposium
2018 was another important year for HSG – we delivered our Fifth Global Symposium in Liverpool, during October 8-12, 2018. This biennial event – the only global one dedicated to health systems and policy – is gaining more attention and attracting interest from around the world. HSR2018 featured:
2,368 delegates from 146 countries.
125 parallel sessions, 49 satellite sessions and 33 skills-building sessions.
451 posters presentations.
265 scholarship participants, out of which 225 were given to researchers from low and middle-income countries (LMICs) and the rest to students at high-income country (HIC) institutions.
6.7 million social media users reached during the week of the Symposium.
During 2018, a record number of individuals – 53,397 people from 202 different countries – visited our Symposium website. Out of this, 44.3% were new visitors and the rest were returning ones from 2017.
Thanks to the hard work of the organising committees, host partners, and HSG secretariat, and the tremendous enthusiasm of HSG members and supporters, we saw a 13% and 12% growth in the number of submitted abstracts for organized sessions and individual presentations respectively compared to HSR2016 in Vancouver. 384 organized session abstracts from 57 countries, withsubmissions from low-income countries (LICs) having more than doubled, lower-middle income abstracts increasing by 39%, and upper-middle income country submissions having risen by 15%. Individual abstracts came from 118 countries, including 26 not represented in 2016. 50% of abstract submissions were from LICs and lower-middle income countries, compared to 44% last time.
You can read more, including about the geographic breakdown of submissions, in the HSR2018 evaluation report, which provides interesting and important messages around successes and learning as we prepare for the Sixth Global Symposium in Dubai in 2020.
Building and engaging the community
During 2018, our 10 Thematic Working Groups (TWGs) hosted four webinars attracting 267 participants; twelve blog posts; organized a number of journal supplements, including one launched at HSR2018 by SHAPES in collaboration with our partner journal IJEH, and one for Medicines in Health Systems to be launched in 2019 in partnership with HPP; ran organized sessions and business meetings at HSR2018, promoted their work and engaged new members via the HSG marketplace booth; and made significant contributions to the Symposium’s rapporteur and abstract review and curation, with the latter involving 270 reviewers (HSG members and followers) conducting 9,774 reviews.
Our monthly newsletter subscribers increased by 31% to 4,558 during 2018, and the monthly average number of visitors to the HSG website grew by 30% and reached 5,894 individuals.
During 2018, BioMed Central (BMC) and HSG collaborated to deliver a series of webinars to help open up the peer review and publication processes. If you missed it, you can find out more and watch the webinar recordings.
Connecting and growing HSG membership
HSG’s online membership directory enables our 1,644 diverse members to make connections with one another.
45% of our members from academia, 19% from government, 7% from development agencies, 7% from civil society, and 6% from the private sector.
38% of members come from HICs, 39% belong to LMICs, and 24% come from upper-middle countries.
Our membership spans 118 countries with 20% from East Asia & Pacific, 15% from North America, 22% from Sub-Saharan Africa, 15% from Europe & Central Asia, 16% from Latin America & Caribbean, 8% from South Asia and 5% from the Middle East and North Africa.
55% of HSG members are female, as are eight of the 15 members of the HSG Board.
Building a resilient society
2018 was a critical year for expanding and enhancing HSG governance. The Board election held in the summer resulted in a 15-person Board, with six new members. The increased size allows the Board to better attend societal needs through its committees and working groups. The Board has four committees and five working groups that focus on important workstreams necessary to build a resilient society.
During 2018, HSG also undertook a mid-term review of its progress on the strategic plan 2016-2020, which should help the Board, the Secretariat and members chart critical activities for 2019-2020. The Board will deliberate on the mid-term review outcomes towards the end of January and will take necessary decisions.
Finally, we have significantly progressed on building the stable financial foundation that is critical to delivering on our societal mission, and the final results will be published in our annual report due in mid-2019.
What to expect in 2019
Looking ahead to 2019, highlights will include:
Expansion of our regional activities with the help of Regional Expansion Working Group, established by the Board and represented by regional seat holders on the Board.
If you are a TWG member, please do engage with your TWG leads to plan and organize activities. If you are a TWG member on LinkedIn now we encourage you to join the TWG Google Group as well, to do so, visit TWG profiles on HSG website and in the GET INVOLVED section press JOIN OUR GROUP.
Please help HSG identify the best country for our Global Symposia. We are looking for countries with the most conducive visa requirements for our members and the necessary infrastructure to deliver our flagship event. We are planning to crowdsource inputs from our members and will be running a survey soon.
Please submit your blogs, inputs and suggestions to the secretariat for us to best serve your needs and promote your activities.
Thanks to all of our members, our Board and our partners for an incredibly productive 2018 full of exciting activities and events. We look forward to working with you in 2019 to make it an even better year!
George Gotsadze, Executive Director
On Behalf of the HSG Secretariat