At the end of April all the necessary documentation to facilitate the disbursement of funds under the new Wellcome Trust Strategic Award grant to INDEPTH were completed at the Africa Centre, University of Kwazulu Natal (South Africa). The grant mainly funds activities of our iSHARE platform through which we will share high quality research data within and without the Network.
A number of the decisions and proposals endorsed by the INDEPTH Board of Trustees at their meeting in March, particularly those requiring immediate attention, are being implemented. For example an initiative is being pursued to have the Secretariat operate as a SCIENCE HUB equipped with the requisite skills to generate cross-site publications and position papers demonstrating the potential of INDEPH to contribute to the global public health discourse.
An upcoming INDEPTH Climate Change, Migration and Mortality workshop in mid-May in Accra holds a lot of promise for future funding as well as further policy impactful research in related areas. The theme for the workshop, The Impact of Climate Variability on Migration and Mortality using HDSS Data makes me very confident that at the end we will all be proud of the papers that will be published as a supplement of the Global Health Action journal.
Our hosts for the 2012 AGM in Vietnam – Filabavi HDSS with active support from Dodalab and Chililab HDSSs, are preparing to enable us take full advantage of early bookings for accommodation, airfares etc. in order to ensure that the Hanoi meeting in late November can be held at the barest minimum cost.
After a rigorous, systematic and democratic process, we have finally dotted the last “i” and crossed the last “t” in our INDEPTH Data Access and Sharing Policy and as such all is set to have it published widely as Version 1.0 . As the policy goes into full operation I wish to congratulate all who worked tirelessly to produce the final version and I look forward to comments from prospective users.
Our participation at the PAA conference in San Francisco in early May offers opportunities to interact with funders, strategic partners and other collaborating institutions to enhance our chances of undertaking more joint projects. I look forward to the meetings that will be held on the sidelines of the conference such as the consultation on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and many others that will be used to deliberate further on additional possible areas of research.
I wish the three students (2MSc, 1PhD) from our member centres who have just received partial support to pursue their courses good luck in their studies.
While core and to some extent project funding remain a challenge, we at the Secretariat will continue to strive hard to make the Network’s presence felt in the global health community.
In the next two months as the Network continues to fly the colours of hope, perseverance and endurance we do so with the full knowledge that in pursuing our shared mission we will move forward even when it hurts to do so.