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7th Summer Institute for New Global Health Researchers Quito, Ecuador – 4-12 July 2010 SUMMARY REPORT

Introduction The 7th Annual Summer Institute (SI-7) for emerging global health researchers was a collaborative effort between the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research (CCGHR, or Coalition) and the long-standing partnership of the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Universidad Andina Simon Bolivar (UASB). It was held in Quito, Ecuador, from 4-12 July 2010, in both English and Spanish, the first summer institute to be held in South America.

Participants and facilitators from Argentina, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, and Venezuela explored social determinants of health in Latin America, translating research into action, and strengthening partnerships between Canadian and Latin American researchers. This was achieved specifically through recruiting pairs of Canadian researchers with Latin American researchers, and in turn, delivering collaborative presentations on health research issues; participating in workshops on leadership, mentoring, ethics, and analysis; and going on field trips designed to reinforce successful examples of health research-to-action.


Organization After initial conversations at the Global Health Forum in Habana, Cuba in November 2009, a planning team was established in December, 2009 (see box). The Planning Team met via teleconference on at least a monthly basis to design SI-7 and manage logistical and pedagogical aspects, working in coordination with the Coalition secretariat. SI-7 Planning Team Donald Cole (Co-Director), University of Toronto Chantal Robillard (Co-Director), University of Ottawa Malu Lourdes Larrea, Universidad Andina Simon Bolivar Roberta Lloyd, CIHR Jerry Spiegel, Annalee Yassi and Veronica Moreno, University of British Columbia Vic Neufeld, National Coordinator, CCGHR Ritz Kakuma, Colleen Davison, Capacity Development Program, CCGHR

Selecting Participants A call for applications was prepared and posted to the Coalition website in late February, and circulated in addition through relevant university networks and organizations, and a variety of mailing lists. The goals of SI-7, as described in the guidelines for the application, were: •

To explore the social determinants of health in the Latin American context, including how research—both the production and use of knowledge—can lead to improved determinants and ultimately health outcomes;

To learn about, acquire and strengthen catalyst competencies that are critical to global health research and to a fuller understanding of the social determinants’ framework; and

To develop and/or strengthen research partnerships from “the South” and from Canada, through the development of joint “research to action” plans.

Applications were received by dyads and triads – composed of one Canadian and one researcher from a low-or-middle-income country, plus in the case of the triads, one knowledge-user. Applications were accepted in both English and Spanish, and dyads/triads required at least one partner proficient in Spanish. Two peer review teams were assembled, each including at least one alumnus from a previous summer institute. The following people generously volunteered both their time and expertise to the process of peer reviewing: Adrienne Wiebe, Jill Murphy, Carmen Ledo, Juan Fernando Teran, Ricardo Batista, Katrina Plamondon, Alex ter Kuile, Martha Fors, Andrea Cortinois, and Natalia Diaz Granados. The coordination of the peer review was conducted by Veronica Moreno. Eight participant teams – six dyads and two triads – were selected to participate in the 7th Summer Institute (see box below).


Selecting Facilitators We sought facilitators who were effectively bi-lingual (at least English-Spanish), had prior experience with participatory approaches to training (particularly summer institutes), and a balance of Canadians and South Americans. We approached people directly through CCGHR (both Canadian and Latin American members) and UASB connections, with substantial interest generated (see box below). For Facilitators-in-Training (FITs), we sent a call to all former SI participants. Two former FITs acted as applicant reviewers, with the final selection made by the SI-7 co-directors (see box below). Pre-institute Preparation Participants and facilitators were given access to a collaborative online workspace, which allowed each person to submit a personalized profile and summary of a dyad-triad research project, and participate in online discussions through forums. In this regard, the web space provided a key setting for communication and familiarization with other participants in advance of the summer institute. In addition, web-based folders were dedicated to each presentation, and resource people were invited to submit recommended readings and relevant materials, in turn permitting other participants to review and absorb presentation materials up to a few weeks in advance. A series of pre-institute notes prepared by the planning team were also dispatched via email to participants and facilitators to circulate logistical information, request input on preferences for the program, describe the structure and logic of the institute, and invite participants to share their “outcome expectations” with fellow participants and facilitators. Participants & Facilitators Drawing together a broad variety of backgrounds and research interests, SI-7 brought together participants and facilitators representing the following countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, and Venezuela. Participants & Project Summaries Dyad/Triad Patricia Polo (Ecuador), Hugo Alexander Zapatta (Ecuador), Ben Brisbois (Canada) Maria Emperatriz Crespin (El Salvador) & Andrew Pinto (Canada) Ezequiel Garcia-Elorrio (Argentina) & Cynthia Stirbys (Canada) Ana Lourdes Archibala Wilches (Ecuador), Felix Efrain Beltran Ayala (Ecuador), Kendra Foster (Canada) Tania Rae (Jamaica) & Josephine Etowa (Canada) Jaiberth Cardona (Colombia) & Janis Huntington (Canada) Cecilia Lemus-Martinez (Mexico) & Brenda Ogembo (Canada) Duberthy Mercado Suarez (Bolivia) & Itzel Rodrigues Rosales (Canada)

Project Pesticide and pesticide-related impacts in Ecuador’s banana industry Youth involved in gun violence, and interventions around employment and empowerment Improving health status and safety of participating communities, including Indigenous communities Capacity-building to prevent and control dengue in Machala, Ecuador Strengthening Nurses' Capacity in HIV Policy Development in SubSaharan Africa and the Caribbean Malaria in pregnancy Capacity-building needs for knowledge translation in Uganda Survival and resistance strategies to globalization of women in prostitution


Facilitators and Resource People Lori Hanson (Canada) Ana Sanchez (Canada) Chantal Robillard (Canada) Donald Cole (Canada) Nolwenn Noisel (Canada) Jerry Spiegel (Canada) Duncan Pedersen (Canada)

Jaime Breilh (Ecuador) Maria de Lourdes Llarea (Ecuador) Raul Mideros (Ecuador) Cristina Merino (Ecuador) Loly Valladares (Ecuador) Ylonka Tilleria (Ecuador) Maria Luisa Espinoza (Ecuador) Elizabeth Bravo (Ecuador) Victor Lopez (Guatemala) Tomas Pantoja (Chile) Rita Navas (Venezuela)

SI-7 Programme As in previous years, the SI-7 programme was designed to offer participants a diversity of events and learning opportunities, including presentations, workshops, dyad/triad working time, and “open spaces”. Participants actively engaged in the following workshops: • • • • • • •

Health Impacts of the Banana Agro-Industry for Exportation Dialogue with students of the Andina PhD programme Communications: Academic Writing Communications: Interculturality and Plurinationality Challenges for Health Public Policies Research Ethics in Global Health Research Leadership & Mentorship in Global Health Research Networking to KTE in Peru: Virtual Communities to Policy


Resource people shared their ideas and experience in the following presentations: • • • • • •

Social Determinants of Health: Case Study on the Impact of the Agro-Industry The New Framework of Rights and Guarantees in the Ecuadorian Constitution of 2008 Human Resources for Health-Capacity Building Health Equity & Global Health Research Participatory Action Research (PAR)-Community Based Research (CBR) and Global Indigenous Health Research Gender-based Analysis: A New Context for Gender and Social Equity

SI-7 participants also took part in a field trip to a flower plantation outside Quito, led by Dr. Jaime Breilh, as an illustrative, local example of health research-to-action. Flower production for export – to North America, Western Europe, Russia, and Japan – is a powerful industry in Ecuador, yet one characterized by job insecurity, low pay, and deplorable health and safety conditions in many workplaces. The flower plantation visited by SI-7 participants had actively collaborated in research with Dr. Breilh’s team and acted upon many recommendations coming out of the research. The plantation is now exemplary, offering employees stable jobs with good pay and benefits, and extensive health and safety provisions. The work of Dr. Breilh and the UASB team came as a crucial reminder to the up-and-coming generation of health researchers about both the efficacy of a dignified work environment, and the capacity of the health research community to affect change in determinants of health in a very challenging international industry. In individual evaluations completed by SI-7 participants, the field trip was resoundingly identified as an enlightening and inspiring experience.


Young woman stripping prickles from roses on an ergonomically correct platform and Representatives of Flower Plantation Worker’s Committee with SI-7 Participants

Evaluation During SI-7 a combination of participants and the co-directors kept field notes – observations of both the process, reactions and initial learning outcomes. Participants also provided end-of-day reflections on most days at UASB, immediate insights gained and suggested modifications for the SI7 program. As a group, the facilitators and planning team members met to discuss really positive aspects of each day, areas for support to dyads-triads in their learning, and modifications in session format or program order. Each of these contributed to a richer understanding of both immediate e.g. attention to particular challenges a dyad faced, and longer term opportunities for improvement e.g. adult education pedagogical approach. Twenty-five SI-7 participants completed feedback forms at the end of the last day, providing the planning team with a standardized rating of numerous elements of SI-7, from logistics to content. For example, 88% of participants agreed or strongly agreed that SI-7 had enhanced their understanding of global health leadership; 92% agreed or strongly agreed that their ability to build partnerships had increased; and 79% agreed or strongly agreed that their expectations for the summer institute had been fulfilled. Participants were also asked to complement their standardized feedback with written narrative. Among the most appreciated aspects of the summer institute were: the field trip to the flower plantation outside Quito; the diversity of interests, backgrounds, and experience present; the multidisciplinary nature of the event; and the collaborative and open setting. What I liked best about SI-7… “The pluridisciplinarity of participants made it a rich experience. Field trip was useful to see concretely what can be done.”


“Every conversation has taught me something new. The sessions where we had dicsussion allowed me to learn so much from the expertise in the room.” “The level of dedication of the group is infectious.” “The respect between participants. Each come from a diverse background and at different stages, but no condescending remarks were noticed.”

Participants made some constructive suggestions about how to improve the Summer Institute in the future. These comments will be takeng into account by future Coalition institute planning teams. Suggestions for the Improvement of Future Summer Institutes… “Less powerpoint, more discussion and questions. Maximizing on resource persons through discussion.” “English must be the language in presentations. Some issues of global research should be central besides focus on social sciences. Continuity is essential to increase growth.” “Suggestion: agenda may use a hybrid model of fixed workshops (core competencies) plus participatory priority setting.”

Overall, SI-7 was a great success. In particular, the climate of exchange and collaboration, a very illustrative field trip, the broad range of interests and expertise, and the warm reception and striking facilities provided by the Universidad Andina Simon Bolivar made the event a very special experience for everyone involved.


SI-7 participants at the Universidad Andina Simon Bolivar, Quito, Ecuador

Acknowledgements The CCGHR and all of the participants and facilitators at SI-7 would like to thank the following donors for their generous support: •

• •

Canadian Institutes of Health Research o Ethics Office o Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health o Institute of Human Development and Child, Youth Health o Institute of Infection & Immunity o Institute of Population and Public Health o Knowledge Translation Branch Global Health Research Initiative Pan American Health Organization

7th Summer Institute for New Global Health Resarchers  

Participants from Canada, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico, Argentina, El Salvador, Colombia and Bolivia were given the opportunity to explore socia...

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