A huge thanks to the 200 people who kindly attended the Health Systems Global (HSG) Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 4 December. You can watch the recording of the AGM and review the slides presented.
The AGM was an opportunity to present progress, achievements and learnings over the last two years; to share thanks to the outgoing board members and secretariat; to welcome new board members; and hear from HSG’s new board leadership and incoming secretariat.
In addition, there were several valuable contributions from participants covering a range of key areas of work and interest for HSG and its members. Below is a summary of these, as well as what HSG is currently doing in these areas. These thoughts and ideas from participants will be helpful as the HSG board and secretariat prepare for the consultation process that will inform the development of HSG’s next five-year strategy. Please look out for more news about the strategy consultation.
Engagement with issues concerning the private sector and digital innovation
As well as exploring these issues during its current and previous global symposia, HSG’s Private Sector in Health Thematic Working Group is interested and engaged in work concerning mixed health systems, public-private and other forms of partnerships, and exploring innovation in different forms. You can read about the PSIH TWG’s work, including its recent virtual mutual learning series.
The recently launched call for proposals for new and renewed TWGs provides an opportunity for HSG members to coalesce and convene around diversity of issues and topics relevant to health policy and systems research.
Voices of communities, community organisations, and social movements
HSG strives to be a broad and inclusive global society, including through promoting diverse participation in its regional networks, TWGs and global symposia. HSG also seeks to facilitate the exchange of perspectives, experiences and knowledge from across and beyond the global health policy and systems community through its web and social media channels. In addition, HSG has convened with the likes of the People’s Health Movement and is actively engaged in global multi-actor movements such as UHC2030. HSG strongly encourages a wide range of contributions to its forthcoming consultation process to inform its next five-year strategy.
Advocating for health policy and systems research funding
Through its valued and long-standing partnership with the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research and the activities and engagements of its members and board at national, regional and global levels, HSG endeavours to promote the value and importance of HPSR and the necessary enabling environments for it, including more explicit and equitable national and international funding arrangements and the embedding of HPSR in programmes to enhance learning and impact.
Activities have included working with the UK’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to inform its approach to the design and commissioning of global health funding, including a global HPSR funding programme.
HSG’s recognises that advocating for HPSR funding and support is an important part of its work and welcomes further ideas for the targeting of these efforts through its forthcoming strategy consultation process.
It is fair to observe that HSG has so far progressed using English as a primary language, and whilst efforts have been made to encourage and support greater linguistic diversity within the likes of the global symposia, through regional network growth in the Americas, Africa and elsewhere, and its board membership, there is more work to be done to facilitate and represent the voices of people who work in different languages.
The Seventh Global Symposium in Bogota in 2022 will be an important milestone for HSG’s commitment to widening its linguistic inclusion. Once again, HSG would value views and suggestions on this important issue via the upcoming HSG five-year strategy consultation and will work to ensure the consultation process itself is open and inclusive.
Channels of communication between HSG members, board and secretariat
HSG prides itself on being a global society whose small secretariat and volunteer board is accessible and responsive to the views and needs of its members and wider stakeholders. Although there are many established channels for communication between members, board and secretariat, including email, social media and the HSG website, HSG wishes to continue to learn from the approaches adopted to date and work with members to further improve ways to facilitate interaction, recognising, for example, that some members may not use HSG’s core social media channels of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. HSG welcomes ideas from members on how communication can be improved, including how HSG can help facilitate greater interaction between members.
Capacity strengthening opportunities
Capacity strengthening for health policy and systems is a key pillar of HSG’s current five-year strategy and will likely continue to be, based on forthcoming consultation feedback, during 2021-25. The recent women’s mentorship program, a partnership with the Alliance and Health Policy and Planning, is an example of HSG’s targeted work in this area, and the likes of HSG’s Teaching and Learning Thematic Working Group have led a number of initiatives to strengthen the capacities of HSG members and others. HSG is also exploring ways of further opening and curating content from its flagship global symposia to allow participants and interested parties to benefit from the valuable learnings that are shared every two years. The outcomes and learnings from the 2019 survey of members on their capacity strengthening needs will directly inform HSG’s next five-year strategy.
Learning from the experience of hosting virtual convenings
Like for many others, it was global circumstances out of HSG’s control that led the society and its partners to transform HSR2020 into a global virtual symposium. HSG has learned, and continues to learn, a great deal from the experience of large-scale virtual convening, as well as its more established and common webinars and web meetings. HSG will take these learnings forward as it both works with partners to shape HSR2022 and plans for other regional and global convening activities.
Share your thoughts
HSG welcomes your comments, suggestions, and questions on anything mentioned above or during the 2020 AGM. Please do use the comment function below or be part of the HSG community conversation via Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.