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 Global Health International Advisors

Areas of Interest

Networks and Social Media

Collaboration among professionals and organizations through networks and social media has markedly increased as the result of the introduction of communication technologies and the recognition that better networking is an efficient tool to address the large number and complexity of wide-ranging interlinked global challenges. Climate change, food and energy security, and communicable diseases are examples where international scientific and policy collaboration is critical in order to address effectively their causes and consequences.

Main Issues

As stated in a seminal 2011 Royal Society report – “The connections of people, through formal and informal channels, diaspora communities, virtual global networks and professional communities of shared interests are important drivers of international collaboration. These networks span the globe. Motivated by the bottom-up exchange of scientific insight, knowledge and skills, they are changing the focus of science from the national to the global level. Yet little is understood about the dynamics of networking and the mobility of scientists, how these affect global science and how best to harness these networks to catalyze international collaboration….”


Many workshops, meetings and interviews examined the achievements of the current efforts to tackle knowledge management and networks challenges, discuss problems, and highlighted important lessons addressing three areas:

Evidence -- New tools and mechanisms to support decision making for policy development

Evaluation – Design and implementation of methodologies for the evaluation of information sharing influence on policymaking

Technologies -- Use of new technologies for network development, knowledge sharing and establishment of global networks addressing global health challenges

The experience with successful initiatives confirms the importance of linking local, regional, and global networks to support dissemination of information. The ability to provide good and equitable health services depends, in part, on the performance of health systems -- networks of organizations, individuals, government entities, and technological resources. An assortment of resources are recommended including social media tools, social networks, blogs, face-to-face events, webinars, twit chats, Google hangouts, websites, support to task teams, peer reviews, cross support, crowd sourcing, desk research, response to queries on specific technical issues, consultant suggestions, advisory services, and online discussions.

Our approach is::

1. Support development and sustainability of technical and educational networks with and effort to maintain and strengthen existing successful initiatives

2. Develop or adopt collaborative Information products and services supported and facilitated

3. Promote knowledge management and knowledge networks strategies to better address issues of access, translation and use of evidence

4. Support capacity building in the use of social media tools and emerging technologies crucial to ensure that scientific research is absorbed and utilized

5. Evaluation, metrics and indicators







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