WHO workshops at the HTAi 7th Annual Meeting
6 June 2010, Dublin, Ireland
WHO will be holding two workshops in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Health Technology Assessment International organization. As health systems continue to face pressure to deliver better outcomes and value for money, health technology assessment (HTA) will play an increasingly central role. HTA supports evidence based decision making in health care policy and practice.
The Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centres for HTA
The Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centres (WHOCC) for HTA was launched during HTAi 2009 in Singapore and has for current secretariat the WHOCC for Knowledge Translation and HTA in Health Equity based at the Centre for Global Health at the University of Ottawa. The Network aims to link WHOCCs and others across the world involved directly or indirectly in HTA to promote dialogue and collaboration and to strengthen existing projects. We also aim to work in synergy with other HTA organizations and individuals in order to galvanize the HTA community as a whole. The workshop is intended as the annual meeting of the Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centres for HTA. This meeting is geared for members of the network as well as potential members, which could be not only Collaborating Centres but also other HTA organizations or individuals interested in HTA. Discussions will be led by organizers Janet Hatcher Roberts, co-director, with Peter Tugwell, of the WHOCC for Knowledge Translation and HTA in Health Equity and Maria Benkhalti, coordinator of the WHOCC and secretariat of the Network. The focus will be on reporting on last year’s activities, upcoming planned activities and in depth discussions on how the secretariat and the network overall can meet the needs of its members and to strengthen HTA in their respective contexts. Other invited speakers and participants include World Health Organization coordinator of Diagnostic Imaging and Medical Devices and Essential Health Technologies, Adriana Velazquez and advisor to the Network, Reiner Banken.
HTA in Developing Countries: where are we and where do we go?
The initiation and development of HTA in developing countries is challenged by numerous factors, among which include lack of awareness among stakeholders, resource constrains, existing decision-making systems and resistance to change; are contributory. Recognizing these challenges, individuals, institutions and organizations have been working together to work with or around them. The World Health Organization, especially through its Collaborating Centres (WHO CCs) has been making progress in this direction over the past few years. HTAi, in particular through the Interest Sub Group on Developing Countries (HTAi DC ISG) has been active in this field for a considerable period of time. It is but natural for the two organizations to join hands in the common aim of supporting HTA in developing countries.
This workshop is jointly organized by the WHO, WHO CCs and HTAi DC ISG. It includes presentations on the current status of HTA in developing countries across the continents and regions. The WHO Collaborating centres will project their presence in these countries and summarize the work done so far. The HTAi DC ISG will highlight unique challenges to HTA from the perspective of developing countries. The background presentations on "current status" will be followed by case studies of how some countries across three continents have managed to overcome the challenges and initiated HTA activities, addressing the unique problems relevant to the local health-care setting. This will be followed by a brain-storming session among the WHO, WHO CCs, HTAi and participants to determine how each willing stakeholder can help towards the overall goal of fostering a culture of evidence-informed decision-making in developing countries. An added highlight of the workshop will be the presentation of brief but concrete, feasible action plans (on behalf of WHO, HTAi and developed country partners) to be undertaken within the subsequent 12 months, to achieve the overall goal. Thus this workshop will benefit all interested individuals, institutions and organizations- sharing the common goal of enhancing health-care systems in developing countries, through appropriate HTA.