Monday, February 21, 2011

Improved Quality and Access to Health Data Essential to Global Health

The World Economic Forum has launched an ambitious project to advance global health through improved data collection and management. The Global Health Data Charter recognizes that accurate health data is essential for effective and efficient health management. The Charter aims to enable individuals and patients, health professionals and policy-makers to make more informed decisions through secure access to comprehensive, quality data. 

The Charter was developed by the World Economic Forum, with project advisory services and support provided by Deloitte and a broad group of stakeholders.
“This Charter represents a tipping point in our transition from the old days of capturing data on paper to the modern era of global interconnectedness supported by sophisticated and secure data sharing to improve health for everyone,” says Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. “Our role has always been that of the catalyst – identifying the gaps, creating the solution and activating change. The Global Health Data Charter is a further illustration of that commitment.”
Access to comprehensive health data is critical given increasing challenges to accessibility and delivery of high-quality care under increasing fiscal pressures. Across the health system, in both developed and developing countries, accurate health data is simply not available. Despite the overwhelming demand, there are a number of critical challenges to the collection, analysis and application of high-quality health data.
Global Health Data Charter

“Improving quality and access to health data is essential to patients, communities and health service providers worldwide, “ says Marie-Paule Kieny, Assistant Director-General of the World Health Organization and Acting Executive Secretary of Health Metrics Network. “This Charter provides a comprehensive mechanism to engage private and public sector stakeholders to develop better methods of health data management.”
 The Global Health Data Charter consists of eight key principles representing the data gaps which the charter founders identified as the most pressing and most realistic to improve in the short term. These principles revolve around two fundamental gaps – access to and privacy of health data. 
“Access” refers to the ability to effectively and efficiently get the right data, in the right format, where and when it is needed. “Privacy” advocates for the development of protocols to address the challenges and risks associated with data misuse.
“Access to better data is essential to identifying and understanding gaps, allocating resources and monitoring interventions as well as furthering innovation and research,” says Georges Halvorson, Chief Executive Officer of Kaiser Permanente and Member of the World Economic Forum Global Health Advisory Board. “Better management of data is not only a best practice – it’s a business imperative.”
Seven fundamental enablers are necessary for successful implementation of the charter.
“The Global Health Data Charter is in line with the long-term strategy of HIMMS to advance the sharing and interoperability of health data – good data is a prerequisite for making the right decisions at all levels”, says John P Hoyt, Executive Vice-President at HIMMS Analytics. The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMMS) aims to encourage the adoption of the charter to its members and the organizations its surveys.”

Patients, health professionals and policy-makers rely on the right data being available to make decisions about treatment and delivery of health services; the better the quality of the data, the better the decisions they can make. Access to comprehensive health data (both clinical and operational) is more critical than ever given the challenges faced to deliver high-quality and accessible care under increasing fiscal pressures. However, across all varieties of health systems, in both developed and developing countries, accurate highquality health data are not available when and where they are needed. Despite the overwhelming demand for quality health data, there are a number of critical challenges that make its collection, access and application problematic – privacy is of prime concern. 

With health data increasingly acknowledged as a prerequisite to effective and efficient health management, the World Economic Forum has led the development of a Global Health Data Charter (the charter). This charter is an expression of the commitment made by a group of organizations to collaborate and work towards addressing key health data gaps. 
The charter has been designed to provide direction and help navigate individuals, professional bodies, organizations, countries, etc. as they proceed on the journey towards improving health data management. 

It is intended to act as a catalyst to encourage better data management practices that will in turn improve decision-making, and ultimately impact better health. The charter’s goal is not to mandate regulations or define implementation practices, but rather to be used as a foundation document that can be leveraged at all levels. We recognize that there will be different approaches taken by jurisdictions as they implement the charter, however, we stress that all of the components of the charter need to be addressed in concert to ensure success.
The initial global support of the Charter boasts endorsements from The Global Health Council (GHC), Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), International Council of Nurses (ICN), International Federation of Health Plans (IFHP), International Hospital Federation (IHF), International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), Population Services International (PSI), Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) and World Information Technology Services Association (WITSA).
 Courtesy: World Economic Forum 

Monday, February 7, 2011

National Press Club and Mishal Announce National Media Gender Awards in Pakistan

Inspired by the Global Gender Gap Index of the World Economic Forum, National Press Club Announces Media Gender Awards.

An initiative framing a discussion on the gender disparities by benchmarking the global gender gap

The National Press Club, today announced the launch of National Gender Media Awards on the basis of the Global Gender Gap Index in collaboration with Mishal Private Limited.

Afzal Butt, President National Press Cub, on the occasion said that, “the social structures prevent the women in our society from fully realizing their potential, hence widening the gap between males and females in all sectors. As the National Press Club already works towards supporting and encouraging women’s education and empowerment; we are committed in redefining the social, economic and political role of the women in the society”.

To further mark the significance of the initiative, the National Press Club and Mishal also proposed the Women and Media Leadership Convention in Islamabad on the 100th International Women’s Day, a day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women to be held on the 8th of March 2011, said Afzal Butt

Also present for the announcement was Ms. Saadia Zahidi, Director of Constituents and Head of the Women Leaders and Gender Parity Programme at the World Economic Forum. In her interaction with the members of the Press Club, Academia representatives and members of the civil society” Ms. Zahidi briefed the gathering about Pakistan's performance on the indicators of the Gender Gap and advised the club on new initiatives, which can be undertaken to create awareness and promote dialogue.
Zahidi's presentation to the members had details about Pakistan's ranking in the recent Global Gender Gap Report 2010; according to which Pakistan scored 132 out of 134 nations (score similar to the report released in 2009), meanwhile the scorecard also had other categories of performance that included economic participation and opportunity where Pakistan stood at 133/134, educational attainment 127/134, health and survival 122/134 and political empowerment, where Pakistan scored relatively well at 52. 

Amir Jahangir, CEO Mishal Private Limited and a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum said, “This initiative will be a landmark and an inspiration for other press clubs in Pakistan and would be replicated at more than 60 press clubs across Pakistan. Mishal has signed up with the leading Press Clubs, Journalism Associations and other stakeholders in the Public as well as Private Sector to bolster best practices to promote content diversity setting new benchmarks for journalism in the region”.

The National Press Club and Mishal are also collaborating on the launch of an Online Journalism and Gender Parity Program at one of the leading Universities in Islamabad/Rawalpindi. This would be achieved by engaging international donor funding. The program aims to help the new breed of journalists and communication professionals as seeing this as an opportunity to making the transition to New Media as a window for generating more effective and relevant content space.

Zamir Haider, Chairman of NPC Committee on Capacity Building and Trainings said that “in line with the Memorandum of Understanding between the National Press Club and Mishal, signed earlier both the organizations have proposed an interaction and capacity building initiative for the members of the National Press Club to frame a discussion on the gender disparities that exist in our society by benchmarking the global gender gap”.

Realizing the importance of strengthening and developing human capital for a diverse workforce, MISHAL, the leading strategic communication enterprise, specializing in media and communication for policy design has launched the 1st Gender Mainstreaming Fellowship Program in Pakistan. The fellowship program is in collaboration with the LADIESFUND, an initiative to address gender parity by bringing them into mainstream economic activities.
The Women Leaders and Gender Parity programme aims to increase participation of women in Forum activities. Besides involving women as members in communities and inviting women leaders to be active contributors to the global dialogue, the programme uses benchmarking tools to measure the global gender gap and showcase best practices for increasing gender diversity. The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Parity Group comprises 100 highly influential and committed leaders. The Global Gender Gap Report, produced annually, provides a framework for capturing the magnitude of gender disparities around the world and aims to serve as a tool for benchmarking and tracking gender inequalities.

The interactive session at the National Press Club was attended by the Executive Committee of the National Press Club, senior journalists from Islamabad/Rawalpindi, representatives of Academia and members of civil society.
Established in 2003, Mishal is a strategic communications company at the forefront of devising and delivering communication solutions for a cross-section of stakeholders and is supporting initiatives, which improve the state of media and journalism in Pakistan. Mishal’s objective is to strengthen institutions, create awareness and educate through media, facilitating sustainable economic development, empowering citizens to make decisions about their lives. The Mishal Team believes that the media can enable Governments and corporations to create an environment that can assist in bridging gaps within the existing socio-economic and political structures.

The National Press Club is a supreme representative body of journalists based in Rawalpindi and the federal capital Islamabad. It has an elected governing body represented by the president, a Secretary and other office bearers. The National Press Club is the representative body of more than 2500 journalists based in Rawalpindi and Islamabad; it also caters for the journalists visiting Islamabad from other parts of the country as well as international journalists visiting Pakistan.