Davao City, Philippines , October 24, 2012 —- The World Health Organization launches an evidence-informed policy engagement process in Davao City today with a three-day summit, where policy issues extracted from available research studies are discussed . The summit hopes to facilitate exchange of information and ideas between researchers and decision-makers; and promote the use of research in policy and planning; as well as transform policy issues into research questions, and thus promoting policy relevant research.
The engagement process is expected to help strengthen the capacity for evidence-based policy- and decision-making in Mindanao, and develop a culture of investing in and acting upon information and evidence for health and development.
The summit’s timing could not have been better since the recently signed Framework Agreement between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) last week present an opportunity not just for lasting peace but also for economic development in Mindanao.
The summit was attended by local health and government officials from regions IX, X, XI, XII and CARAGA as well as Officials from the Department of Health and was participated in by research networks, the academic institutions, NGOs and International partners.
The new United Nations Resident Coordinator , Ms Luiza Carvalho is the keynote speaker, and has emphasized that with the renewed development climate for Mindanao, the demand for policy-relevant research is greater than ever. She stressed that it becomes even more compelling now that research evidence is widely accessible and can be used by multiple stakeholders, both government and non-government, to inform planning and decision making particularly at local levels..
A Research Gallery was also opened to showcase presentations of research studies done. Mindanao related materials, poverty maps, documents and publications from the different regions, UN agencies and other partners were also on display during the summit.
The First Mindanao Research Summit was just the first of a series of meetings slated to take place for continued consultations, dialogues, and promotion of systematic ways for policy and action. The output from the summit and its subsequent conferences is expected to be ready for presentation to the first regional development council meeting after the election in 2013.
The WHO, led by the country Representative, Dr Soe Nyun-U, has initiated this process in collaboration with Davao Medical School Foundation, and hopes that other sectors other than health, will continue facilitating such process through succeeding meetings/dialogues particularly between researchers and policy-makers.