Institutions for Closing the Knowledge-Action Gap in Global Health

Institutions for Closing the Knowledge-Action Gap in Global Health

11-13 June 2008

Harvard Kennedy School
Harvard School of Public Health
Boston University School of Public Health
Harvard Initiative on Global Health

Harvard Kennedy School

Acting in Time Initiative of the Harvard Kennedy School
Burroughs Wellcome Fund
Sustainability Science Program at Harvard University

Barry Bloom, former Dean, Harvard School of Public Health
William Clark, Professor, Harvard Kennedy School
Gerald Keusch, Associate Dean for Global Health, Boston University
Dean Jamison, Professor, Harvard Kennedy School and School of Public Health
Catherine Michaud, Researcher, Harvard Initiative on Global Health
Suerie Moon, Research Fellow, Sustainability Science Program at Harvard University
Nicole Szlezak, Research Fellow, Sustainability Science Program at Harvard University

Workshop description
This workshop explored the effectiveness of different institutional arrangements for closing the knowledge-action gap to improve health in developing countries. It sought to identify the most important barriers to effective mobilization of science and technology for health; to discover generalizable information about “what works” among possible institutional arrangements; and to suggest policies to sustain and broaden the impacts of such institutions. Our motivation for the workshop was the increasing pressure facing national and supranational health institutions to mobilize knowledge needed for dealing with the world’s changing patterns of health and disease. In particular, many of these institutions have been built on experience working mainly in an infectious diseases-based paradigm, but are now being called upon to harness knowledge for action on non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular/metabolic diseases and tobacco-related illnesses. The workshop brought together for a focused, off-the-record discussion a select mix of senior global health practitioners and academics from around the world. The workshop was organized around a series of discussion sessions focused on the following challenges : agenda setting, advocacy and norms; financing and resource allocation; research and development; implementation and access; monitoring, evaluation and learning; and implications for global health architecture.

Workshop Program

Background Papers
Bloom, Barry and Nicole Szlezak. 2008. Closing the Knowledge-Action Gap in Global Health: The Need for Institutions.

Szlezak, Nicole. 2008. Evolution and Governance of Malaria Control Institutions.

Moon, Suerie. 2009. Medicines as Global Public Goods: The Historical Evolution of and Contemporary Debates on Technological Innovation for Global Health. CID Graduate Student and Research Fellow Working Paper No. 36, Center for International Development, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University.

Szlezak, Nicole. 2008. Evaluating Malaria Burden, Trends, and the Impact of Control Programs: A Brief Meeting Report. World Health Organization. Meeting of the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for Malaria. Harvard School of Public Health, May 8-9, 2008.

Meky, Saleh. 2008. Malaria Control in Eritrea: A Success Story.

Keusch, Geralad and Wen Kilama. 2008. Malaria Research.

Participant biographies

Contact Info
Suerie Moon, Giorgio Ruffolo Fellow in Sustainability and doctoral candidate in public policy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University,