Building the Foundations of an Informatics Agenda for Global Health—2011 Workshop Report

Muzna Mirza


Strengthening the capacity of public health systems to protect and promote the health of the global population continues to be essential. Leveraging informatics practices and principles is beneficial for improving global health response capacity. A critical step is to develop an informatics agenda for global health. With the aim of building a foundation for this agenda, the authors developed a workshop to examine the evidence in this domain, recognize the gaps, and document evidence-based recommendations. On 21 August 2011, at the 2011 Public Health Informatics Conference in Atlanta, GA, USA, a four-hour interactive workshop was conducted with 85 participants from 15 countries. Participants represented governmental organizations, private sector companies, academia, and non-governmental organizations.

The workshop discussion followed an agenda of a plenary session - Planning and Agenda Setting - and four tracks:; Policy and Governance; Knowledge Management, Collaborative Networks and Global Partnerships; Capacity Building; and Globally Reusable Resources: Metrics, Tools, Processes, Templates, and Digital Assets. Track discussions created a rich environment to examine the evidence base and the participants’ experience to gather information about the current status, compelling benefits, challenges, barriers, and gaps for global health informatics as well as articulate opportunities and recommendations.

This report provides a summary of the discussions and key recommendations as a first step towards building an informatics agenda for global health. Attention to the identified issues is expected to lead to measurable improvements in health equity, health outcomes, and impacts on population health. We propose the workshop report be used as a foundation for the development of the full agenda and a detailed roadmap for global health informatics activities based on further contribution from key stakeholders. The global health informatics agenda and roadmap can provide guidance to countries for developing and enhancing their individual and regional agendas.

Full Text:



Online Journal of Public Health Informatics * ISSN 1947-2579 *