The Global Health Network aims to accelerate and streamline research through this innovative digital platform. The idea is to provide a mechanism for facilitating collaboration and resource sharing for global health.
This is an online science park that allows researchers to work together without geographical, institutional or financial barriers. The result is a productive, interactive environment where research teams are accessing peers, generating research documents, acquiring technical expertise and developing new protocols in open collaboration to hasten and improve their, and importantly others, research outputs.
The Global Health Network is a thriving system of connected, yet individual, areas that are each led by research groups from all over the world. Each independent member group uses The Global Health Network to focus on a specific therapeutic area such as respiratory disease, maternal health or oncology, or type of research like diagnostics or microbiology, or are cross-cutting research support communities such as clinical trials, research review or bioethics.
The Global Health Network can transform research by enabling researchers to share methods across staff levels, communities, regions, diseases and disciplines of global health. This is happening by enabling the theory of Communities of Practice. This is where practitioners experiencing an issue work together to address it by sharing their experiences, methods and solutions. For example, a research group in Kenya has guided a research group in Malawi in setting up a data management system for their study.
The Global Health Network is providing the sophisticated technology and the tools for this to happen allowing researchers to work together online, and this is a place where researchers come to receive rigorous guidance and training that is written by experts. This facility also creates partnerships through novel applications, such as site-finder.org. It is highly regarded as a neutral and independent space, which is uniquely applying cutting edge digital technology to enhance global health research.
Since 2011, to March 2014, over 220 thousand researchers, nurses, technicians and scientists working in LMIC countries have accessed The Global Health Network to share research methods, knowledge and processes, with many thousand of regular users. Over 11,000 online course modules have been taken, and there are over 20 research groups with areas on this platform. The Global Health Network has grown into renown, valuable and trusted resource to those working in global health research. Impact evaluation is embedded and strong quantitative and qualitative data show how research teams are gaining from this and that their research is being enhanced.