Prof. Dr. Walter Bruchhausen | University Hospital Bonn
Prof. Dr. Johanna Hanefeld | Robert Koch Institut (RKI)
Prof. Dr. Achim Hörauf | University Hospital Bonn
Prof. Dr. Francis Omaswa | African Center for Global Health and Social Transformation
Birgit Pickel | Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Caroline Schmutte | Wellcome Trust
This conversation-style session delved thoughtfully into bridging the gaps between research and practice, decolonizing partnerships and positive examples of multi-stakeholder collaboration. It was chaired by two members of our GLOHRA Steering Committee, Walter Bruchhausen and Johanna Hanefeld, with speakers from private and public funding bodies and research institutions. There was an acknowledgement of the gaps between research and practice but also positive examples of international research collaboration, in particular the bilateral partnerships that exist between universities in Germany and various universities in Africa.
A speaker-consensus emerged that effective global health research and initiatives must fully integrate local partners, from goal setting to joint-funding commitments. Dr. Omaswa argued for funding national research institutes in Africa, which are already in line with national agendas and Ms. Schmutte noted the evolving stance of the Wellcome Trust to ensure fuller integration of local partners. We were finally asked to confront some more existential questions: Is our research truly being designed for the people we seek to serve? How do we best clarify the goals of our research? And, to what degree are private and public funders willing to give up control to local partners? These are ongoing matters that our funders and scientific community will face as global research collaboration and multi-stakeholder participation develops.