The World Health Organization (WHO) Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Centre for Health advocates and facilitates the enablement of spatial representation of data to support better public health planning and decision-making. During the Eleventh Session of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management, it was agreed that the lack of global information available regarding health infrastructure at the global, regional and national levels was a significant blocker in the effort to respond globally to health crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, several key initiatives have been reinforced, including a publicly available central repository of global health facilities data the Geolocated Health Facilities Data Initiative(GHFD).
The WHO was prepared to launch the database itself, but in order to generate substantial momentum around the importance of and relevance for a readily accessible health faculties database, ensuring the project sustains the value of countries’ HFML through a culture based on inclusion, trusted partnerships and strategic alliances it was recognized collaboration is required with a large number of stakeholders to , Intentional Futures is one of these key partners, supporting the delivery of engaging content that resonated with diverse audiences. iF entered as a strategic working group partner, providing a communications plan for the public announcement of the GHFD at an official side event of the 53rd UN Statistical Commission and a series of deliverables that built the foundation for future advocacy efforts.
In the two months leading up the public launch of the GHFD, iF worked in direct partnership with the WHO GHFD team, the WHO central office and external partners also part of the Strategic Working Group to develop materials that effectively summarized the nature, intent and benefit of the database to WHO Member States:
In addition to communicating the launch of the event, iF worked to coordinate a detailed run of show for the event itself including panelist participation and remarks for the main champion of the project, the Assistant Director General of the WHO, Dr. Samira Asma. The team assisted with the technical execution of the launch webinar, providing Zoom backgrounds and a powerpoint deck template.
The launch webinar at the UN Statistical Conference had over 350 global attendees which included representatives from ministries of health, WHO country representatives, civil society organizations, academia, and other influential global health decision makers. Now the GHFD has been publicly announced, the team is looking toward its next milestone: 40 committed Member States by the end of 2022. The hope is that with the Geolocated Health Facilities Data Initiative as a global public good, people in every corner of the world will always know where to go for the care that they need.
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