The Governance Committees of the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information (BIREME/PAHO/WHO) were officially approved by the Resolution 5 of the 49th Directing Council of the Organization (CD45.R5) in Washington D.C., USA, in 2009. The resolution established the Center’s new institutional framework, effective as of January 2010, and its Statute defines the governance structure, creating the Advisory and Scientific Committees with the role of assisting PAHO/WHO Directors in the Center’s programmatic, managerial, and technical cooperation functions. It is important to mention that the committees started to exist when BIREME was established (see History of the governance, published in BIREME Bulletin n° 5 ).
The year 2017 was very busy for the Governance Committees, since they both held their meetings and, in an effective manner, contributed for BIREME’s strengthening as PAHO/WHO Specialized Center.
The 6th Session of the Advisory Committee (AC) took place on February 2nd, 2017. Joaquín Molina (PAHO/WHO Representative in Brazil), Kumiko Eiguchi (Argentina), Michele Erica Anne Roofe (Jamaica), Elmer Anel Rodríguez Aparicio (Panamá), Rocío Cathia Casildo Canedo (Peru), and Harry Smith (Trinidad and Tobago) were selected by PAHO/WHO Directing Council to participate in the meeting. The discussions included four thematic panels: History and Institutional Framework, Financial Sustainability, Technical Cooperation, and Selection and Appointment of BIREME’s Scientific Committee. Participants had the opportunity of receiving information, knowledge, and strategic, technical, and political recommendations. A final report, approved by all members, was presented to the PAHO/WHO Director, Dr. Carissa F. Etienne.
In its turn, the 3rd Session of the Scientific Committee (SC) was held on December 7 and 8, and attended by Efren Carlos Oropeza Abúndez (Mexico), Georgiana Marie Gordon-Strachan (Jamaica), Ileana Regla Alfonso Sanchez (Cuba), Jaider Ochoa Gutierrez (Colombia), Mario Guillermo Tristan Lopez (Costa Rica), and Roberto Carlos Pacheco (Brazil). The Scientific Committee members were selected in the beginning of the year during the 6th Session of the Advisory Committee, based on their professional characteristics in Scientific Communication, Research, Information Management, Education and Knowledge Management, and Information Technology. The Scientific Committee recommendations are related with BIREME technical cooperation program and with the reinforcing its presence in Latin America and the Caribbean, in the scope of the south-south cooperation. The meeting included a component related to the actions the Center may engage in to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the 2030 Agenda. A full report is being prepared to be submitted to the Director of PAHO.
PAHO/WHO sub-director and interim Director of Knowledge Management, Bioethics and Research, KBR, Francisco Becerra, attended both meetings, together with BIREME Director, Diego González, and Center’s managers and employees.
Diego González stated “besides enabling high-level professionals to assess and recognize BIREME’s strengths, the existence of the Governance Committees generates the opportunity of receiving recommendations about how to work better to get to users with relevant information and suitable technologies, which allow for evidence-based actions that can contribute to improve health in Latin America and the Caribbean”.