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Forum 2009 was one of our most successful forums in terms of engagement with participants, content of sessions and diversity of stakeholders. By underlining how innovation can play a role in achieving health equity for poor and disadvantaged populations, the Forum's Programme included innovative case studies from social entrepreneurs and innovative approaches to priority setting and health systems strengthening.

As an introduction, please click on the link below to see a short film which captures the flavour and spirit of Forum 2009.

Media coverage

Forum 2009 received over 600 impacts in newspapers, journals, radio and television around the world. The successful coverage is due to a number of factors including the draw of Cuba as an example of innovation and health and a number of high profile speakers including ministers of health. The Global Forum also drew on its advocacy experience by liaising closely with the Cuban authorities and encouraging them to open up their centres of excellence to the press. Site visits proved to be a unique and exciting experience where media from a number of countries got to see for themselves the Cuban health system. This opportunity provoked widespread interest and excellent coverage.

Please click on the link below to see details of our media coverage.

Forum 2009 will also be remembered for its innovative approach to exchange and debate including lightening sessions and interactive sessions. Below is a selection of the participants' favourite sessions.


  • More money for health, more health for the money

This session focused on challenges, issues and innovative mechanisms to maximize the value of investments in health. The session was well-attended and over the heated discussions, a consensus emerged that there is a considerable knowledge gap on how to improve health financing in low- and middle-income countries. Policy recommendations underlined the fact that low-income countries that do not have the capacity to provide universal coverage often have small scale innovative financing schemes that fill the gap. These options should be explored and expanded. Evidence-based policy decisions are also essential to making healthcare financing successful. The overall conclusion of a full and productive session was that research is needed to identify sustainable sources of funding, to define ways to improve the management of financial risks and to ensure that money for health is spent wisely. For more information, please contact Téa Collins ( ).

  • Climate change, innovation and health equity

This session was well-attended and provided some useful interactions and insights. The session looked at a new approach to development by bringing equity agendas and environmental health together with coherent policies. Major efforts are needed at local, regional and global levels to conduct the necessary research which will enable the careful design, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes, thereby addressing the staggering health inequities that are exacerbated by climate change. The session underlined the need for multi-disciplinary approaches and alternative financial tools to complement emergency assistance. The need for climate-based tools and methodologies for public health, such as geographic health information systems, was also discussed. For more information, please contact
Sylvie Olifson ( ).

  • Biotechnolgy in Cuba

The session looked at Cuba’s biotechnology industry and saw how it is one of the country’s top priorities with huge investments from the Cuban government. Participants learned about the biotechnology research facilities, many of which are world-renowned and gaining competitiveness in terms of quality, production and joint-ventures. The output of Cuba’s industry such as its 33 vaccines against infectious diseases was also underlined. One of the main messages to emerge from the session was that other countries could learn from Cuba’s collaborative approach to health using integration and coordination between institutions doing research and those applying the results.

  • Monitoring financial flows

The Research Flows Programme convened a Satellite Meeting on Tracking Resources for Health Research to take stock of current efforts and work towards a sustainable system for monitoring investments in health research. Participants, consisting of academic researchers, advocates, methodological experts and regional bodies, agreed that information is fragmented and that the Global Forum needs to play a more active role in using available data, as well as be the space to discuss how resources should be spent on health R&D. At the end of the day, the Global Forum committed to acting as a network node, undertaking an inventory of current approaches, and working towards new methodological frameworks for tracking. For more information, please contact Marta Feletto ( )