BIREME, as a specialized center of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization, closes out 2020 with multiple important successes and challenges, which were continuously supported by its network of collaborating institutions and a team that works seriously, committedly, and that always transforms obstacles into opportunities.
BIREME’s management team made their work plans for the development and institutional strengthening of BIREME, which they shared in the early days of the new year.
Verónica Abdala, Information Source Manager, commented that “by 2021 we want to further strengthen our technical cooperation through the activities and actions of monitoring, coordination, and capacity building of the VHL, LILACS, and Reference Networks. These actions will be fundamental to the improvement of the information products and services we offer in the VHL, such as the Windows of Knowledge, the Evidence Maps, and the Bibliographic Search Repository, as well as the expansion of the VHL collection with the integration of new national databases into the VHL regional index. We will also be implementing a new model for VHL maturity, which seeks to encourage improved information and knowledge management.”
Renato Murasaki, Manager of Methodologies and Information Technologies, states that “2021 is projected to follow the upward trend in the number of accesses to information available in the sources of information of the Virtual Library on Health and other international initiatives, such as the Global Index Medicus and the basis of WHO’s global literature on COVID-19, developed through BIREME’s technical cooperation in coordination with the WHO. The aggravation of the infodemic during the COVID-19 global health emergency increased the demand for the search, access to, and use of scientific evidence, reinforcing the importance and expanding the impact of our technical cooperation to maintain, with the support of our Collaboration Networks, reliable and up-to-date sources of technical and scientific information. In 2021, many efforts will be made to continue to use information technologies appropriately to respond continuously to this growing demand, as well as to expand the possibilities of exploring, by anyone, data and metadata from these sources of information freely and openly.”
Focusing on the perspectives and challenges of administrative management and planning for 2021, Silvia de Valentin, Administrator of BIREME, argues that “the BIREME operation in 2021 that includes its overall management and implementation of its technical cooperation program will profile the priorities of the countries of the Region, also through the management and access component of scientific evidence, one of the main objectives of the Center. It is in the context of the COVID-19 global pandemic that it demands cross-sectoral and coordinated responses. In this regard, BIREME will continue to mobilize efforts to strengthen its institutional relations at the local, national, and international levels so that all the resources necessary for its effective performance in the Region are made available.”
It is in the same spirit of collaboration and fulfillment of its mission to democratize information, knowledge, and evidence that BIREME enters 2021. According to its director, Diego Gonzalez, “we are confident that this year we will continue to strengthen our presence in Latin America and the Caribbean, supporting countries to continue to advance the scientific and technical information and open science component, always through our PAHO offices. Several product and service launches are planned with the purpose of making available to our users self-learning courses and virtual trainings, as well as strengthening collaboration networks, always giving the best of each of us and working as a team.”