EnCompass designed and delivered the Global Health Science and Practice Technical Exchange (GHTechX), an annual learning forum for global health experts, students, and professionals from a variety of technical areas. This year’s conference underwent a major transformation: from a one-day in-person event in Washington, DC, into a four-day global virtual conference. The event brought together 2,463 attendees from across 105 countries – more than double the number of attendees at the 2019 D.C. based event – and including 545 speakers who led 138 sessions.
Feedback from the conference was overwhelmingly positive. One attendee noted, “Big kudos and congratulations to the entire team for an exceptional conference! The technology was cutting edge and impressive and the content was timely and important.”
Planning and Vision Are Key
The GHTechX planning team was led by EnCompass’ GHPOD II team, with the USAID Global Health Bureau, the George Washington Milken School of Public Health, and the Global Health Science and Practice Journal. The diversity of perspectives brought new ideas for including a broader audience, both geographically and in terms of sector and organizational breadth.
Technology Can Support Open Access
In close collaboration with TechChange, the GHTechX team built an online platform and robust schedule of technical sessions, networking opportunities, and peer-to-peer exchange forms that could be accessed from anywhere in the world.
Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former president of Liberia and 2011 Nobel Peace Prize recipient, said, “I think that the GHTechX is an example of a step to decolonize global health by opening a conference previously held in Washington, DC …. Now that conference is virtual and everyone around the world can participate, with equal access to information….”
Selection Criteria Matters: Optimize for Diversity, Innovation, and Engagement
The planning team dedicated time and effort to ensure sessions were meaningful and engaging, and would bring in diverse voices and opportunities for learning. The team reviewed more than 350 session proposals submitted for the event using a rigorous session selection and scoring process. Teams of reviewers across conference tracks evaluated session ideas against criteria for technical applicability, innovation and creative design.
EnCompass CEO Tessie Catsambas, led a session on Appreciative Evaluation through her role in the EnCompass Learning Center. Dr. Pat Morris, EnCompass’ Director of Gender and Inclusive Development, also spoke on challenges and innovations in global health programming as part of the closing plenary.
GHTechX sessions were recorded and are available on the global health science and practice technical exchange website.
Are you interested in learning more about our work in global health? Check out our recent projects and resources, and our blog on Health Systems Strengthening in Support of Global Goals.