The “Research for Impact and the G20: How can global health innovation drive sustainable development?” roundtable event, held on Friday 28th April 2017 at the Quadriga Forum in Berlin, Germany was organised by Sovereign Strategy and co-hosted with the following organisations: the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance), Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), the Sabin Vaccine Institute, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), PATH (Programme for Appropriate Technology in Health), the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC), the Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund, UNITAID and CARB-X.
The one-day event involved opening and closing speeches, two sessions of moderated roundtable discussions, presentations on the G20 priority foci of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and pandemic preparedness, the B20 and its health initiative as well as the Call to Action output document and discussions on how to carry the initiative forward. The relevance of the G20 was consistently highlighted, as were calls for the G20 to continue this priority focus, building on investments and current models in the global health space. In addition to increased financial investments, coordination platforms for research and development (R&D), data sharing or complimentary technologies were used as possible areas that should be considered going forward. The relevance of this dialogue to economic development and security gave additional credence to the G20 maintaining this focus particularly when framed in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which is now an explicit driver of the G20 prioritisation process.
Maintaining a focus on the political – in addition to the scientific – aspects of global health was emphasised with the political figures present at the Berlin roundtable highlighting the need to embed government involvement in global health and innovation into the domestic political discourse. Related to this were the exchanges and comments on improving communication and significantly broadening the base of advocates (including global parliamentary champions) outside of the traditional areas of operation, using smaller – but more regular – conduits of information and facts on impact that are compelling and show value for money. These political and communicative aspects combine d with the need to embrace long-term approaches were reflected in broad support for the initiative and its continuation as a way of stimulating a broader multi – stakeholder coalition of advocates and a platform for creating innovative partnerships.
The recommendations for G20 Health Ministers and Leaders drafted by the co-sponsors and supporters of the initiative were included in a “Call to Action” and an “Open Letter to G20 Leaders”. Through the roundtable and dialogue with the Official Engagement Groups, the Partnership was able to position itself as a unique forum for multi-stakeholder dialogue. The acknowledgement and involvement from key players involved in the G20 process as well as our contribution together with co-sponsors to ensuring a successful B20 Health Initiative established a solid foundation to move the initiative ahead. We have received very supportive messages from G20 officials – the government of Canada, the United Kingdom as well as Germany and EU Commissioner for Health & Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis – welcoming our efforts and that health should be a crucial focus on the G20 agenda.