COHRED and partners gear up for engagement on research and innovation for health in Latin America

Categories:Director's Corner

By Francisco Becerra

The Council on Health Research and Development (COHRED) is busy working with the Governments of Panama and Brazil, and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) on the upcoming 2nd Latin American Conference on ‘Research and Innovation for Health’. The conference will take place in Panama City, Panama, between the 23rd and 25th of November 2011.

The main issues of concern at this 2nd Conference will include innovation, financing, aid and priority setting within the context of research for health.

Focus on these issues draws on the outcomes of the 1st Latin American Conference on Research and Innovation for Health which took place in Rio de Janeiro in April 2008. This was the first time that all countries in Latin America came together to discuss research for health in the Region.

During the 2008 Conference, it was argued that there was need for strong national research for health systems (NRHS) in order to ensure that research addresses the health priorities of the people. The 2008 Report can be downloaded by going to (link to report). For this first ever Latin American Conference, COHRED teamed up with the Ministries of Health of Brazil and Mexico (INSalud), PAHO, the Global Forum for Health Research (which merged with COHRED in 2011) and NICASalud.

In addition, focus on the topics of interest for the upcoming 2nd Conference also draws on the Forum 2009 which was held in Havana, Cuba. At the Forum, COHRED was called upon to organise the follow up meeting to the 1st Conference. It is in this regard that some of the issues raised from the Forum – on human resources for research for health, financing and priority setting – have been integrated into the topics for the 2011 2nd Conference.

As a result, with regard to innovation, the 2nd Conference will consider the view that there have been advances in terms of policies for research for health. However, are these advances considering issues of innovation? A high level panel will analyse the way in which countries in the region can or should address this issue.

Regarding financing, examples of successful and sustainable mechanisms will be reviewed, and discussions on how these are perceived by researchers will also be held. Linked to this is the question of financing and the link between aid and priorities. For instance, do donors listen to countries’ needs? Is financing linked to priorities?

For the 2nd Conference on Research and Innovation for Health, COHRED is working with the Government of Panama through the National Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation, the Ministry of Health of Panama, the Ministry of Health of Brazil and PAHO.

We hope to see you there. More information on the 2nd Conference can be requested at:

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