The Scientific Committee (SC) of the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (BIREME/PAHO/WHO) met virtually at the VIII Session on September 8, 2022. The purpose of the session was to share the current implementation status of the recommendations of the previous session and promote an effective exchange to obtain recommendations to improve the visibility and quality of BIREME products and services for the Latin America and the Caribbean countries.
With the purpose of strengthening the sustainability and quality of the services that characterize the Center’s technical cooperation in information management and scientific communication in health, which held its cooperation program in 2022 through the Virtual Health Library (VHL), recognized as a good practice with the countries of the Region through the United Nations Agency for South-South and Triangular Cooperation (UNOSSC). This feat should be celebrated even within the framework of the celebrations of PAHO/WHO’s 120 years and 55 years of BIREME/PAHO/WHO.
The VIII Session of the Scientific Committee was opened and conducted by Sebastián García Saisó, Director of the Department of Evidence and Intelligence for Action in Health (EIH) of PAHO/WHO and Acting Director of BIREME, with the support from the Center’s team who highlighted the importance of the Center as a strategic instance for the Organization, especially in supporting countries with the response to the global COVID-19 pandemic through its information and scientific evidence products and services. García Saisó presented the main results and innovations of the last year.
The members of the SC who participated in this session were:
- Alexandre Pozza Urnau Silva, Desarrollo, Operation and Financing for the Projects, Products and Services of BIREME, Brazil;
- Amanda Wilson, Information Management, United States of America;
- Fabio Tarascow, Education, Argentina; and
- Jorge Barreto, Evidence-Informed Health, Brazil.
The specialist members of Scientific Communication (Mexico), Information Technology (The Netherlands), and Scientific Research (Peru) justified their absences. However, they received the executive report with BIREME/PAHO/WHO’s main results and the implementation status of the 2021 recommendations and, therefore, subsequently had the opportunity to contribute with suggestions and recommendations that will be included in the minutes of the session.
The main recommendations of the Scientific Committee to strengthen the management and technical cooperation of the Center are summarized below:
- Establish a collaborative network to disseminate BIREME initiatives on evidence-based policies (BIGG, Evid@Easy, PIE, etc.) in other forums, in addition to the networks in which the Center already participates;
- Reach new audiences, create educational formats or new informative experiences, be proactive and inform them of something new, such as a playful experience, a game, in the midst of BIREME’s formal environment and in the midst of so much information;
- Use new methodologies, such as gamification to teach traditional topics, access and use of health information and scientific communication. In addition, have younger audiences on social networks to attract new users for BIREME’s P/S and promote virtual meetings on topics such as symposiums on research, scientific publication, etc.
- Make BIREME’s products, services, and the new tools that are developed (e-BlueInfo, DeCS/MeSH Finder, EVID@Easy, for example) known to its institutional partners
- Increase spaces for the promotion of information products and services developed by BIREME, in the countries and in the Region, with more active participation of public and private health institutions, as well as academic entities. Likewise, in the window of knowledge, information on what to do and how to be prepared for the next pandemics can be included in the different areas.
The minutes, which are a detailed report on the dynamics of the discussion and the recommendations presented in the session, will be shared with the members of the Scientific Committee and the BIREME/PAHO/WHO team for critical evaluation and implementations in the coming months.
At the end of the session, the members, and the participants from BIREME/PAHO/WHO alike were unanimous in recognizing the efforts and results achieved by the Center and committed to developing activities to strengthen communication for the exchange of information and experiences in a more constant way, and that they will come prepared to contribute with new developments and innovations.
Visit the new website of the BIREME Governance Committees which gathers information and documents on all the Advisory and Scientific Committee meetings in Spanish, Portuguese and English: http://comitesgobernanza.bireme.org/