During the recent HSG Board Meeting, held on 4-5 November in London, Emerging Voices for Global Health (EV4GH) was welcomed as a new Thematic Working Group of HSG. This concretizes the long-running, productive relationship between E4VGH and HSG and opens up new opportunities for expanding our engagement with new cohorts of young, promising and emerging health policy and systems researchers and decision-makers around the world.
Initiated by the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp in 2010, EV4GH began with the aim of empowering health systems researchers from the global South to participate in global health conferences and events. EV4GH has traditionally included intensive face-to-face skills training and an online coaching and learning component.
EV4GH has had a close relationship with HSG and has been linked to all three previous Global Symposia. EVs have participated in plenaries of the symposia, chaired sessions and presented research, often to great acclaim. EVs have also led social media coverage on the symposia, contributed to symposium statements by rapporteuring sessions, and scooped up poster and social media awards. EVs are active members of various Thematic Working Groups, engaging with established researchers and health system actors in shaping the agenda in these groups. EVs have also been part of the HSG governing board, and EV alumna and member of the EV4GH Governance team Kopano Mabaso is a member of the current HSG Board.
The 2016 edition of EV4GH will also be held in close association and partnership with the 4th Global Symposium for Health Systems Research. The call for EV4GH 2016 was announced concurrently with the launch of the Call for Abstracts for the 4th Global Symposium.
The mission of EV4GH aligns closely with the strategic objectives of HSG, particularly the objective to promote and support capacity building for the conduct, translation and utilization of health systems research. The network now comprises of 150 EVs from 4 cohorts (2010-14) representing close to 50 countries in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin, North and Central America. In the future, EV4GH will look for new ways of expanding their networking with emerging health policy and system research leaders and decision-makers globally. As a thematic working group, EV4GH will bring enormous value to HSG by infusing the community with the energy, dynamism and ingenuity of these young global leaders.