Speaking to HumanIPO in an exclusive interview, coordinator of HIFA Global Forums Neil Pakenham-Walsh said the need for HIFA Voices arose from the identification of a major challenge in capturing the shared experiences of HIFA members.
HumanIPO reported yesterday African membership of the online forum was around one third of its total, with Nigeria the country best represented.
“[There is] the challenge of how to “capture” the experience of HIFA members that is shared on the forum, so that it can be used by others at a later date,” he said.
“In the past, we prepared summaries of discussions, but we found this was very time-consuming and it risks the possibility that ideas may be misinterpreted through the paraphrasing that summarizing involves.”
This he said compelled HIFA to approach the global health body to discuss how to tackle this challenge. This resulted in HIFA Voices.
“HIFA Voices is an open access, fully searchable, tag-worded database forming a growing repository of the practical experience of users and providers of healthcare information, with a focus on low- and middle-income countries,” Neil said.
The HIFA Voices database will help the global forums in determining the healthcare information and learning needs of different groups of healthcare providers in different settings.
It will also help identify the barriers and drivers to meeting those needs and determine what must be done, and how to improve the availability and use of relevant, reliable, actionable healthcare information.