On the right track? Health policy think tanks and academic institutions will explore their role in implementing health-related SDGs

November 01, 2016

Baby being vaccinated in Sierra Leone

Dominic Chavez / World Bank

Baby being vaccinated in Sierra Leone

More than 20 international health policy think tanks and academic institutions will meet in Brazil on November 7–8 to discuss the implementation of the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Co-hosted by IDRC, FioCruz, and the Graduate Institute, the Rio de Janeiro event’s participants will explore the role of policy research institutions in improving health and implementing the health-related SDGs—one of four meetings that explores this subject. 

The discussion will address the lessons learned from the first regional consultation in Kampala, and also builds on a 2015 global meeting of think tanks and academic institutions in Geneva. It will be followed by meetings in November and December 2016 in Vancouver and Islamabad respectively. The forums encourage dialogue and engagement between key actors, including policy research institutions and government representatives in the health knowledge-to-policy landscape. Participants include regional organizations with a health mandate, research and policy organizations, government institutions, universities, parliamentarians, and others from 22 countries in Africa, Asia, the eastern Mediterranean, and Latin America.

The early days of SDG implementation are critical. The initial actions taken jointly by all stakeholders, including public agencies, civil society, and the private sector, will set the foundation for success or failure in the years to come. These initial years will also set countries on the right track to achieve the overall purpose of this new global framework. The four consultations will take advantage of the momentum provided by the SDGs to emphasize the importance of partnerships, on the ground perspectives, and evidence as a basis for improved health.

The meeting in Rio will:

  • Explore interdisciplinary research and policy approaches to achieving health-related SDGs;
  • Discuss how SDG implementation is playing out at the national level;
  • Share experiences about the roles played and the spaces occupied by policy-research institutions at different levels and how they can connect to cross-regional opportunities;
  • Explore ways that policy-research institutions should position themselves for future ongoing health-related SDG implementation and facilitation efforts.