|The Global Health Network Terms of Reference – V1.3
The Global Health Network regional programme aims to foster a health research and data science environment in the Global South through a franchise networked organizational approach. This TOR will be regularly reviewed and updated as necessary throughout the programme to ensure that all activities align with the programme's objectives and are delivered in a timely and effective manner.
The Global Health Network is governed by a robust and decentralised structure that enables effective decision-making and implementation across the globe. At the global level, it comprises three key components: the Global Operations Team, the Global Scientific Advisory Board, and the Global Strategic Partners Forum. These entities work collaboratively to provide strategic direction and ensure operational excellence.
In addition, at the regional level, The Global Health Network has established a Regional Steering Committee (RSC), which oversees the work of Regional Centres, Working Groups, and Country Centres in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). This regional governance structure enables The Network to effectively address the specific health research needs and priorities of different regions, while maintaining a cohesive global vision.
The Global Scientific Advisory Board (GSAB) is a critical component of The Global Health Network's governance structure, providing strategic oversight of The Network's programmes and initiatives. The GSAB offers guidance on digital innovation, capacity development, and research methodology, with the aim of fostering more and better health research in low-resource settings.
While the GSAB does not have the authority to make binding decisions, it plays a crucial role in reviewing the activities, outcomes, and plans of The Network as a whole. By providing expert advice and insights, the GSAB helps to guide The Global Health Network's efforts to create maximum impact and achieve its strategic objectives.
In addition to its advisory role, the GSAB also encourages collaboration among member organisations, regional centres, and country centres. It guides the identification of global stakeholders and promotes their engagement in The Global Health Network's activities. This includes raising awareness of The Network's initiatives at relevant events and meetings.
The GSAB is composed of representatives nominated from the Steering Committee of each region, along with the Director of The Global Health Network, who represents the Global Operational Centre. Eminent scientists who represent The Global Health Network's target users may also be included. The group meets annually to review progress, provide feedback, and offer guidance on strategic priorities. With its diverse expertise and global perspective, the GSAB plays a vital role in ensuring that The Global Health Network remains at the forefront of health research and innovation worldwide.
The Global Strategic Partners Forum (GSPF) plays a crucial role in ensuring that The Global Health Network is achieving its objectives, aligning with the strategic goals of its partners, and amplifying their work. The Forum brings together a diverse group of stakeholders to promote the shared vision of improving health outcomes in low-resource settings. Through coordination and information-sharing, the GSPF works with other groups to amplify ongoing work and identify new opportunities for collaboration.
As part of its mandate, the GSPF reviews existing programmes and initiatives and considers strategies proposed by the Global Scientific Advisory Board (GSAB), ensuring that they align with The Network's areas of competence and expertise. The Forum advises on priorities and areas where The Network should focus its future activities, with the aim of maximising impact and creating lasting change.
The GSPF comprises a range of health research funders, healthcare delivery organisations, and public health bodies. Its annual meetings provide a forum for partners to share updates, exchange ideas, and discuss emerging trends and challenges in the field of global health.
The Regional Steering Committees (RSCs) for Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean are responsible for guiding the overall mission of their respective continent and overseeing the work carried out by different working groups. The RSCs provide advisory guidance and do not have the authority to make binding decisions. Their primary role is to review activities, outcomes, and plans related to the regional and country centres' core aims and guide The Global Health Network in creating maximum impact by fostering more and better health research in low-resource settings. Additionally, they may identify gaps in activities, suggest new areas of focus, and help ensure activities are responsibly and effectively meeting project or grant goals. The RSCs will also encourage collaboration among the regional and country centres and guide the identification of regional stakeholders and their engagement, including raising awareness of The Global Health Network activities at relevant events and meetings.
Each RSC is composed of voluntary member representatives from each of the regional and country centres in the region that have signed a collaborative agreement to be a Global Health Network Regional or Country Centre, as well as representation from The Global Health Network regional operations team. Members are asked to serve on the RSC for two years, during which they elect a Chair who rotates annually and sits on the core GSAB.
Meetings are held bi-annually, either online or in-person if funds are available, at a time when a quorum of at least 50% of countries are present. The Chair, with support from The Global Health Network operational team, convenes meetings, sets agendas, and summarizes discussions in minutes. Discussions may also continue between meetings through emails or virtual calls to exchange useful relevant information. Every year, the RSC will formally review its own remit and operations, with recommendations for changes, although pertinent points may be raised at any time.
The Working Groups play a vital role in executing the various activities planned as part of the programme in the region and country centres. This includes coordinating face-to-face and online training initiatives, organising meetings and workshops, and overseeing research projects. To ensure that the programme stays on track and meets its objectives, the operational team works closely with the project managers. The team also takes on the responsibility of building and maintaining relationships with partners, local researchers, and stakeholders, as well as representing the project to the broader community.
The Working Groups consist of various roles, including data managers, research scientists and assistants, educators and instructional designers, developers, designers, and administrative and communications staff. Together, they collaborate to implement the programme's activities effectively and efficiently. The global operational team provides support to the Working Groups, ensuring that they have the resources they need to carry out their responsibilities.
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To ensure long-term sustainability, the centres and the Global Operations team will identify and pursue grant opportunities that support partnerships and locally relevant research programmes. The Global Operations Centre will work to connect Country Centres regionally and internationally and will support independent or collaborative grant applications.
Funding awards will be directed to the lead applicants at the Regional Country Centres, to be locally led, and will outline the operational support and research grant management systems that will be implemented or developed within their host institutions. This approach will provide transparency and accountability, as well as support for effective grant management.