Report on Forum 2012 calls for concrete action in moving from evidence to innovation…


Report on Forum 2012 offers 11 key recommendations for going beyond aid…

Forum 2012, which was held between 24 and 26 April 2012 in Cape Town, was the beginning of an exciting new series of the well-known and respected Global Forum for Health Research meetings.  Under the theme of ‘Beyond Aid… Research and Innovation as key drivers for Health, Equity and Development’, Forum 2012 focused on potential solutions– in low- and middle-income countries and emerging economies – for moving ‘beyond aid’ within the context of research and innovation for health, equity and development.

Forum 2012 was based on three themes: i) increasing investment, ii) creating partnerships and networks, and iii) making environments in low-income countries more conducive to research and innovation. As is indicated in the report on Forum 2012, which released this week by the COHRED Group, some good headway has been made on this.

The report, titled Beyond Aid… Research and Innovation as key drivers for Health, Equity and Development‘ aims to provide insights into the main issues, key messages and recommendations from the conference. It is also meant to help generate further action.

According to the report, debates at Forum 2012 were rich. Participants left on a very positive note, but with the understanding that further discussion is needed to consolidate the new approach and to clarify the process of moving from evidence to innovation. The gathering was an important step in launching the new approach.

Future meetings will consider what impact this new approach has at the country level. The global discussion was exciting and created momentum. Nevertheless, as is highlighted in the report, local contexts must be taken into account when considering sustainability and finding local solutions. For this reason, participants in several sessions pointed out that it is also worth considering holding regional meetings, where regionally-specific experiences can be exchanged and appropriate learning can take place.

The report argues that: ‘Beyond aid is about development that builds and consolidates countries’ capacity to address their challenges themselves and to generate the necessary resources. We need to continue the discussions and complement them with concrete action at the country level – thus adding value to the platform provided by the Forum’. It is in this regard that the report also offers 11 key practical steps – covering issues such as priority setting, regulation and the youth – for going beyond aid.

However, much more needs to be done to optimise these and other key areas. As such, future Forums will continue to focus on these issues rather than on fragmented drives and calls to action – perhaps in different contexts, but in ways that spin a strong, unbroken thread year-by-year.

Forum 2012 was jointly organised by the COHRED Groupthe Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of South Africa.

Click here to download a high res version of the report.

Click here to download a low res version of the report.


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