COHRED has been working hard to develop and extend Health Research Web (HRWeb), a powerful tool that we urge governments, research institutions, policy-makers, donors and others involved in research for health and innovation to use and adopt. It is the first time a repository of research information is publicly available free of charge, with countries and institutions being able to own their information while making it available to others.
In 2010 COHRED and the Pan-American Health Organization’s (PAHO) programme for the strengthening of research for health activities in the Americas signed an agreement for technical collaboration. Within the framework of this collaboration, one of the activities is the support and gathering of information for HRWeb, so countries and other stakeholders will have the opportunity to get, in a single platform, relevant information and links to improve the management and dissemination of health research systems, priorities and activities in the region.
HRWeb has been designed so that each country or organisation that adopts it masters their own content, can update it, and be able to upload documents such as protocols easily. The more it is populated, the stronger a resource it becomes, providing a one click service which can:
- Cross analysis capacity information such as in ethics committees, research institutions, research protocols.
- Retrieve public health information relevant to programmes and planning.
- Provide a management information system to build health research indicators, identify trends and monitor resource flows.
Together with PAHO, we have reached another milestone in promoting sharing of knowledge and information on HRWeb: the last three weeks have seen a 629% increase in content for the Latin American pages, with the contact names and addresses for 1000 ethical committees in Latin America being uploaded. This provides an easily accessible resource for anyone interested in research for health in the region.
With our team of web developers, we have capacity in house to tailor additional pages to the relevant needs of our stakeholders. Thus, our expertise is being harnessed for a new pilot project spearheaded by Debora Diniz, the general coordinator of the Comitê de Ética em Pesquisa do Instituto de Ciências Humanas da Universidade de Brasília (CEP/IH), to develop a customised system to manage research ethics committee (REC) information for CEP/IH based on the HRWeb platform. HRWeb will help monitor and evaluate the submission process of health research projects within CEP/IH.
In a world where information is often fragmented, incomplete and not easy to find, we believe that tools such as HRWeb can greatly facilitate the life of policy-makers, decision-makers and researchers. I urge you to take a little time to browse on www.healthresearchweb.org to see the full power of our tool.