GACD Ottawa meeting

13 December 2012

GACD global teams gather in Ottawa

International research teams from the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD)’s Hypertension projects have been meeting  (8-11 December) and sharing strategies for the first time in Ottawa, Canada. 

Hypertension teams from Rwanda and South Africa

Research Teams from 15 project groups from Australia to Peru, met to exchange ideas and joint working strategies, setting the agenda for the GACD’s first joint technical steering committee.  

GACD Executive Director Celina Gorre, opened comments by telling teams

“You are the pioneers for the GACD’s first RFA (Request for Applications).  Its up to you to set the agenda and influence our work for future teams to come.

In addition to themed working groups around comparative project themes of Salt Reduction, Mobile technology and learning from HIV/Aids, teams discussed ideas around joint publications, evaluation, peer review, community and policy maker engagement.

From ground breaking research to policy

On day two, discussion was driven by Dr Mickey Chopra, UNICEF’S Chief of Health, who joined the group via webinar to share UNICEF’s experiences in managing health inequalities.  He explained how key organizational structures are to UNICEF’s ways of working on the ground.

“You have to think about the MESO approach, the scale and the context, working on a more networked modal approach, embedding innovations in a context, accepting that failure is a key part of learning. We need the mechanisms to try new things, but to recognize key trigger points.”

Celina Gorre and Gail Turner

How do you put chronic or lifestyle diseases at the centre of policy?  That was the debate led by Dr Derek Yach from the Vitality Institute, Inuit public health consultant Gail Turner and chronic disease programme manager from Mpumalanga Province, South Africa, Sarah Gumede, who dived into a “fish bowl” style discussion around getting NCDs firmly into policy and connected with communities.

To culminate, an ambassador’s dinner hosted by CIHR’s President Dr Alain Beaudet put the learning into practice.

Flickr photos from the meeting available here