The Global Health Network Conference 2022 – our reflections & takeaways
The Global Health Network Conference 2022: our reflections & takeaways
The Collaborative’s work is to promote better, more efficient randomized controlled trials for any type of intervention, in any setting, anywhere in the world. We were therefore delighted when The Global Health Network invited us to share our Guidance at their global conference in Cape Town, South Africa, on 24 and 25 November with the theme “Enabling health research in every healthcare setting” (TGHN Conference 2022). We caught up with our delegates, Nick Medhurst and Rachel Hallett, after the conference to get their reflections.
What were the Collaborative’s objectives for attending TGHN Conference 2022?
Although the genesis of the project stretches much further back, the Collaborative officially launched in the early days of the pandemic at a time when the urgent need for reliable results from clinical trials was front page news around the world.
As we developed our guidance, we worked closely with hundreds of contributors all around the world but almost all our interactions were conducted remotely. TGHN Conference 2022 was an enormously welcome opportunity to be together in person with some of the people who have made the Guidance for Good Randomized Clinical Trials possible. Importantly, the conference also provided a platform to bring the Guidance to a new audience of professionals working predominantly in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) and share a resource that we believe can support The Global Health Network community’s mission to drive equity in where health research happens, who leads, and who benefits.
What did you enjoy most during the two days?
There was a lot to enjoy. Firstly, there was a hugely positive and optimistic energy and atmosphere with delegates from every part of the world, eager to learn from one another and share best practices. There was also a strong line-up of presentations and discussions on a huge variety of projects, led by a mixture of established and renowned field leaders and earlier-career professionals. Not forgetting the sunshine, warmth as well as the wonderful food – all of which was enjoyed against the setting of the beautiful campus of the University of Cape Town!
We exhibited a poster about our Guidance at the conference. What kind of questions did you receive?
Visitors were interested to know how our Guidance differs from or might complement that which they already follow, such as Good Clinical Practice. This gave us the opportunity to explain the scope, principles-led approach and adaptability of our Guidance to any setting. We also listened to challenges they face in their own research areas and learned about how they could see the potential benefits from aligning certain practices with our Guidance – exactly the sort of conversations we were hoping to have!
Any key takeaways from the conference?
A recurring theme among speakers was the importance of high-quality training and the mentoring of early-career researchers from LMICs as more of these nations determine, deliver on and benefit from their own research priorities. Including good clinical trial guidance in this activity will help ensure research opportunities reach their full potential for public health benefit and can provide high-quality evidence for the communities that are served. This is something we will firmly bear in mind as we work closely with our network partners across the world to raise the efficiencies of clinical trials with good, principles-based guidance.