The Latin American and Caribbean Center for Health Sciences Information (BIREME) held an online Ad Hoc Session on August 28 to welcome new members of its Scientific Committee (SC), which together with the Advisory Committee (AC), conforms the Governance Committees of the Center, as established in the Statute of its institutional framework.
The online Ad Hoc Session had as specific objectives: (1) to welcome the new members of the Committee; (2) to report on the current state of implementation of the main recommendations made by previous members and to present BIREME’s main products and services; (3) to strengthen BIREME’s institutional framework with countries in the Latin America and Caribbean (AL&C) region, also through the contribution of the Committee’s expert members; and (4) to obtain recommendations for the visibility of BIREME’s products and services and support its financial sustainability in the face of the challenges of the global pandemic COVID-19.
The Scientific Committee (SC) now has seven new members for a three-year term (2020-2022), which were selected considering the profiles of performance and experience in specific areas to provide recommendations to the Director of PAHO/WHO regarding the functions programmatic, managerial and technical cooperation areas including aspects of innovation in its products, services and regional coordination networks. This Ad Hoc session was attended by five of the seven members, two of whom justified absence, which we list (in alphabetical order):
- Alexandre Pozza Urnau Silva, Development, Operation and Financing of BIREME’s Projects, Products and Services, Brazil
- Amanda Wilson, Information Management, United States (represented by Dan Gerendasy, who acts in the same institution and area)
- Antonio Sánchez Pereyra, Scholarly Communication, Mexico
- Barend Mons, Information Technology, The Netherlands (excused absence)
- Cezar Augusto Cabezas, Scientific Research, Peru (excused absence)
- Fabio Tarascow, Education, Argentina
- Jorge Barreto, Evidence-Informed Health, Brazil
Sebastián García Saiso, Director of the Department of Evidence and Intelligence for Action in Health (EIH) of the Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization (PAHO/ WHO) opened the session highlighting the importance of the contribution of the new members of the Committee considering their areas of expertise for the sustained development of BIREME, also contextualizing the SC as a strategic instance for the Center and for the Organization.
The Director of BIREME and ex-officio Secretary of the SC, Diego González, shared the implementation situation of the main recommendations on the occasion of the V Session of the SC, on November 28 and 29, 2019, presenting BIREME’s products and services on management of scientific health information and communication that guide technical cooperation programs with the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. Lines of action were also shared to support the countries of the Region in responding to the global pandemic of COVID-19, as well as the main challenges faced in the implementation of its 2020-2021 Biannual Work Plan (BWP 20-21).
The members who were present, then, had the opportunity to make comments and questions to the Director and staff of BIREME on the topics presented, having been unanimous, however, in recognizing the diversity and scope of the products and services developed by the Center.
A report from the Ad Hoc Session as well as the presentation made will be forwarded to the members’ knowledge and final considerations, also as a way of making even more effective the discussions and recommendations to be brought to the SC annual meeting scheduled to take place online in November 2020.
The meeting was adjourned by Sebastián Garcia Saiso (EIH Director) who acknowledged the members of the SC for their comments and reflections, and also the BIREME team for their commitment and developments.