The 9th Session of the Scientific Committee (SC) of the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information (BIREME/PAHO/WHO) was held virtually on May 24, 2023, with the aim of presenting the 2023-2025 BIREME Strategy to the committee “Towards Information Industry 4.0”; and thus, obtaining the recommendations of participating members so that the Strategy is reflected in the Centre’s Products and Services in the Centre’s Biennial Work Plan (BWP).Amanda Wilson, specialist in Information Management, from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) of the United States of America; Jorge Barreto, specialist in Evidence-Informed Health, Brazil; and Barend Mons, specialist in Information Technology, Netherlands participated at the meeting. PAHO/WHO was represented by the Director of the Department of Evidence and Intelligence for Action in Health (EIH), Sebastián Garcia Saisó, and by the Director of BIREME, João Paulo Souza. Also present were the managers and supervisors of the technical and administrative areas of the Center, as well as members of the EIH Department at PAHO/WHO Headquarters.
João Paulo presented the components that make up the Strategy for BIREME 2023-2025, which include the following topics: Global megatrend towards digital transformation and Industry 4.0, BIREME’s Logical Model, Theory of Change, Innovation Strategy, and Priorities for Innovation. The Center’s new organizational chart, which was restructured to meet the future Strategy and Work Plan, was introduced to those present.
The presentation by the Director of BIREME was followed by fruitful discussion with SC members on the various aspects of the Center’s Strategy and ways to implement it, as well as ways to overcome potential challenges. In general, SC members reacted positively to the changes in the Center’s organizational structure and to the new Strategy.
Among the main recommendations of the members of the SC, the following stand out:
– Engagement of teams in institutional strengthening based on innovative work organization models, from Design Thinking for identifying problems and ideating solutions for end users of BIREME products and services, to agile methodologies for managing operations;
– The establishment of new strategic partnerships with research institutions for the development, application, and testing of Industry 4.0 attributes in products already made available by BIREME, improving the capacity of searches and data retrieval; and
– Tackling the problem of misinformation in general, and specifically in the context of machine learning and artificial intelligence, emphasizing the importance of data reliability and transparency.
Once consolidated, the recommendations will be included in the minutes of the session and shared with the members of the Committee and the members of PAHO/WHO, and after the final considerations of all.
About the Scientific Committee
The Scientific Committee (SC) is composed of five expert members nominated by PAHO Member States and the Director of the Organization and nominated by the BIREME Advisory Committee. The Scientific Committee advises the Director of PAHO and the Advisory Committee of BIREME in the preparation and implementation of the Work Plan, making recommendations on the Center’s programmatic functions. The Committee is also responsible for recommending the adoption of innovations in information technology for BIREME’s scholarly communication products and services. For the time period 2020-2023, the Committee is made up of specialists from the following areas: Projects Development, Operation and Financing, Products and Services; Information Management; Scholarly Communication; Information Technology; Scientific Research; Education; and Evidence-Based Health. The SC has been operating since 2013.
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