Thursday, 4 December 2014

Innogen and IKD@OU at the 12th Globelics International Conference: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

By Geoffrey Banda

From the 29th to the 31th of October 2014, the African Union Centre in Addis Ababa was the venue for the 12th Globelics International Conference. The conference ran under the theme, Partnerships for innovation-based development.

At the Globelics International Conference, Innogen and the Innovation, Knowledge and Development Research Centre at the Open University (IKD@OU) hosted a special session on Innovating for Local Health: Addressing Local Needs in a Globalised Context.

Organised by Julius Mugwagwa, the panel explored the scope for sharing local perspectives on local health systems, within the current globalised policy and funding context. The logic of the special session was premised on new thoughts being developed within Innogen/IKD.

The African Union Complex in Addis Ababa
Our research acknowledges that local health needs of developing and developed countries are multifaceted and dynamic, but presents complexities for local actors in defining and addressing local needs within the highly structured context of 'global health'. The panel argued that Global health policies and practices tend to be top-down and aggregate initiatives, which can obscure the varying patterns of local health needs and local health sector environments. Our thinking identifies Global health initiatives as focusing disease of global significance. However, local actors bring to health policies their own local perspectives on local needs, and scope for addressing local priorities. These can both be supported by, and be in conflict with, the local impact of global programmes.

Panellists left to right: Dinar Kale (OU), Geoffrey Banda (Edinburgh), Maureen Mackintosh (OU) - Chairperson, and Samuel Wangwe (REPOA)

Chaired by Maureen Mackintosh, four papers were presented to a participative audience on the 29th of October 2014. The presenters were drawn from the Open University, Edinburgh University and REPOA in Tanzania and covered the following topics:

  • Enhancing industrial productivity, health sector performance and policy synergies for local health in Kenya and Tanzania: Samuel Wangwe, REPOA, Tanzania
  • Refracting global health innovations into local contexts: who decides and how?: Julius Mugwagwa, The Open University
  • Local pharmaceutical production for stronger local health systems: fact or myth?: Geoffrey Banda, Edinburgh University
  • How can local medical device industries play a bigger role in local public health?: Dinar Kale, The Open University

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