The World Federation of Academic Institutions for Global Health held a meeting on June 5th.

We want to share the meeting minutes with you:





  1. Leonel Valdivia (Chair)
  2. Antoine Flahault
  3. Andy Haines
  4. John Finnegan
  5. Nuria Casamitjana
  6. Thomas Krafft
  7. Marian Offei
  8. Liz Grant
  9. Lemlem Girmatsion
  10. Michaela Told
  11. Karla Cifuentes Castillo (Minutes)



  1. Julian Kickbusch
  2. Giorgio Solimano
  3. Uta Dietrich
  4. Tony Capon
  5. Keith Martin



1.0   Opening

The meeting started at 14:45 Swiss time at the Meeting room of the Institute of Global Health of the University of Geneva, Switzerland.


2.0 Confirmation of Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on April 7th, 2015 were read and approved.


3.0 Collaborationinitiatives between United Nations University, International Institute of Global Health (UNU/IIGH) and WFAIGH: MOU and Urban Thinkers Campus


Tony gave background on the establishment of the UNU/IIGH campus in Kuala Lumpur with the financial contribution of the Government of Malaysia. An MOU of collaboration between UNU/IIGH and WFAIGH has been drafted and circulated to members as well as a document describing possible areas of collaboration focusing on the post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Regarding the Urban Thinkers Campus (UTC), Uta explained that it was an initiative of UN-HABITAT in the context of the 3rd UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (HABITAT III). The UNU/IIGH, with support of WFAIGH and others, successfully submitted a proposal to hold a UTC in the city of Penang, Malaysia on November 24-26, 2015, focusing on Urban Health (further details are contained on attached flyer).  Uta will keep us informed as plans for the UTC evolve. Andy suggested remote participation for this event in order to facilitate engagement of other institutions and public. Leonel suggests that all member networks should be invited to disseminate information about this event and otherwise try to participate, in particular our members in the Asia Region.


  • MOU is approved for signature (responsible: Tony and Leonel)
  • Inform Asia members of UTC encouraging their involvement in the UTC (Responsible: Leonel)
  • Keep members informed of progress in planning November 2015 UTC (Responsible UTA)


4.0       M8 Alliance and participation in WHS 2015

Antoine informed that the partnership between the M8 Alliance and WFAIGH was formally approved at an M8 Executive Committee held in Kyoto in April 2015. After that, the WFAIGH was invited to propose members for a working group on medical education in GH. Leonel contacted Sharon Fonn and she accepted to participate in this group which is led by Ben Canny of Monash University.   


Julian expressed satisfaction at WFAIGH recent adhesion to the M8 Alliance partnership.  In his capacity of Program Manager, he then proceeded to inform in detail of the plans for the WHS 2015, which has a lineup of high level speakers from Government, private sector, civil society and graduate students. The WFAIGH, through its members, will be actively engaged in WHS 2015. WFAIGH involvement will include taking on the responsibility for organizing a workshop on “Trade, Diplomacy and Global Health”. In addition, Andy Haines is in charge of organizing a session on Climate Change and Health.

Thomas and Leonel in collaboration with Susanne Weber-Masdorf will work on the design of the Trade and Diplomacy session. It was suggested to ask Pierre Buekens to be speaker in the Session on GH Research and Development. WFAIGH participant in the UHC session will be sent to its organizers (Ilona Kickbusch et al).

As in previous years, a WFAIGH business meeting will be held during the time of the WHS 2015.


  • Prepare session on Trade, Diplomacy and Global Health and send first draft to Julian by June 19th  (Responsible: Leonel and Thomas)
  • Propose speakers for the UHC and GH Research sessions by June 19th (Responsible: Leonel)
  • Request room for WFAIGH business meeting (Responsible: Leonel)


5.0      Collaboration with the Institute of Global Health, University of Geneva (UNIGE/IGH)

This year the WFAIGH was a sponsored and collaborator with UNIGE/IGH in two events organized within the context of the 68th World Health Assembly (WHA): 1) the Global Health Literacy Forum and 2) the Technical and Policy Briefs on the WHA Agenda. The first event was organized by the Asia Health Literacy Association headed by Peter Chang (one of WFAIGH founding members) of the U. of Taiwan. Leonel and Antoine were one of the speakers at this event that was held at the BioTech Campus of UNIGE.

Regarding the Technical and Policy Briefs, Antoine expressed his satisfaction regarding this year’s event and his appreciation of the collaboration of WFAIGH in the organization and implementation of this event. He suggested that WFAIGH should consider continuing its collaboration with UNIGE/IGH in future yearly versions, or similar events with the necessary adaptations based on this years’ experience.  Specifically he suggested an “intensive prepared workshop" for the Geneva Health Forum next April 2016 that could be organized on the metrics needed for assessing the SDG 3. This workshop would be organized under the coordination and label of WFAIGH (and, if possible, the WHS). It was agreed that the GHF organization committee supported and helped realizing this proposal. Cesar Victora, from Pelotas University, Brazil, was suggested to be the lead of the core group (of about 12 people) in charge of its preparation.  Antoine proposed to contact him on behalf of the GHF and WFAIGH and ask WFAIGH executive board to propose other members for the core group with at best two to three co-chairs.     


  • Continue discussions on jointly sponsored events in 2016 (Responsible: Antoine, Leonel)
  •  Identify among member network specialists in indicator measurement to become member of work team to prepare proposal to submit to a suitable donor (Responsible: all members)


6.0 Financial matters and administration

Nuria informed that Antoine obtained approval of the University of Geneva to open a bank account for WFAIGH. The account is active and can be used to transfer funds deposited in Ghana and to begin asking for contributions from members.  Notably, UNIGE will charge no fee for managing this account. Nuria reminded us that at the October 2014 meeting, it had been agreed to ask member networks for a contribution of US$ 1000. However, it was realized that several networks did not collect fees from their members and will be hard put to contribute to the Federation. One possibility suggested was to ask for small donations or subscriptions from individual members.  Keith proposed to publish an incentive for people to donate through the webpage.


Realizing that the best way to raise funds was through projects, it was suggested to constitute a team of health metrics and other specialists to work on a proposal on monitoring the health indicators of the SDGs.  



  • Make necessary arrangements to transfer funds in Ghana to account in Geneva (Responsible: Leonel, Marian)
  • Contact each member networks requesting financial contribution of US$ 1000 either as network or through individual small donations (Responsible: Nuria, Leonel)



7.0 Work group on GH definition, core competencies and accreditation/credentialing


It was considered important to revisit the idea of working on a definition of Global Health, the core competencies required for a GH education curriculum and on appropriate mechanisms of accrediting and/or credentialing Global Health programs. Leonel reported he had an initial discussion with Michael Merson of Duke University regarding these issues. It was suggested that Mike be asked to lead a work group for this task. Both ASPPH and CUGH have worked extensively on these issues so they could provide significant contributions to this task.   Member networks would be asked to propose members of this working group. Also, it was also mentioned the possibility of working on this with APHEA of which Antoine is the President.



  • Contact Mike Merson to ascertain his interest in leading a work group charged with this task (Responsible: Leonel, Antoine)
  • John and Keith to propose work group member form their network ranks, Leonel to contact Latin Americans and Marian to identify Africa team members



8.0 ANY OTHER BUSINESS          


1. It was agreed that the Federation be legally registered in Geneva taking advantage that its funds will be administered here. 

2. Leonel reported that he had met with Bettina Borish, Executive Director of the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) about reciprocal membership between the WFAIGH and the WFPHA. They also discussed WFAIGH involvement in the next World Public Health Congress to be held in 2017 in Melbourne.



  • Antoine to register the WFAIGH in Geneva
  • Leonel to negotiate with Bettina Borish on reciprocal membership of the WFPHA.


9.0     CLOSING

The meeting ended at 17:00 hours, Swiss time.


10.0 Next TC Meeting

The next meeting will take place during the WHS 2015.


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