Considering that networks are essential for strengthening and extending the work of the BIREME team in favor of the Virtual Health Library (VHL), the Executive Committee of VHL Brazil held its X Meeting with the objective of reflecting on the governance of the VHL Network Brazil, evaluating the Collective Work Plan for the first semester of 2019 and defining the priorities for the second semester, with the main objective of strengthening the networking.
In order to underpin and stimulate the discussions within the Network, Verônica Abdala, BIREME’s Manager of Information Services and Products, brought up aspects of the sustainability of the VHL based on three pillars: the collaboration network, the content network and the learning and exchange network. She also spoke about the composition of the Brazilian Network of Cooperation in Health Sciences and the importance of the Cooperating Centers for the construction of three VHL products: Bibliographic Control, VHL Instance and Knowledge Showcase.
Bibliographic Control is performed by the Cooperating Centers, which guarantees the updating of the information sources of the VHL. LILACS is the main source, but it is complemented by national and thematic databases. The VHL Instances depend directly on the work of the Cooperating Center network in order to offer their users relevant and updated content (information). The Knowledge Showcase is a new tool for highlighting selected information within a VHL Instance.
The second part of the meeting was dedicated to the Work Plan of the VHL Network Brazil. Initially, an evaluation was made of the implementation of the plan in the first semester of the year, considered very positive by the group for offering opportunities for interaction among the members of the network, for having shared goals and for the clarity in measuring the results. In fact, the work done in the first semester offered the group experience on techniques in network planning and organization for attaining common goals. The group recognized that it is easier to work when the goals are shared and that partnerships among instances are good ways of solving the difficulties that arise, but that it is difficult to conciliate the VHL activities with the routine activities already being held in the institutions. They affirmed the desire of having more time, resources and support from the Consulting Committees and from the Cooperation Networks in order to attain better results in the execution of the work plan.
The definition of priorities for the second semester was based on the structure of the same Work Plan of the VHL Network Brazil, and the group worked to propose objectives, expected results and indicators for each of the following lines of action: Bibliographic coverage/indexation; Updating of the Instance portals; and Strengthening of the Cooperation Networks. All proposals were analyzed collectively and the first version of the Work Plan for the second semester was finalized, with activities to be developed from August 2019 to January 2020. Like during the first semester, meetings will be held every three months for monitoring the execution of the 2PTS.
The X Meeting of the Executive Committee of the VHL Network Brazil was held in BIREME, on August 1 and 2 of this year, and was attended by representatives from 15 Thematic and Institutional VHL Instances of Brazil, as well as by representatives of PAHO Brazil and of the General Coordination of Information and Documentation of the Ministry of Health (CGDI), which serves the role of Executive Secretariat of the Network, with the collaboration of BIREME. Soraya Drummond de Andrade, coordinator of the CGDI/MS, declared she was enthusiastic about participating for the first time a meeting of the VHL Network Brazil. She also emphasized the importance of the Executive Committee for the strengthening of the VHL and of the network, to promote health information.