The 2013 annual international conference of The Network: Towards Unity for Health (TUFH) took place November 16-20, 2013, in Ayutthaya, Thailand. The conference theme was “Rural and Community-Based Healthcare: Opportunities and Challenges for the 21st Century,” and its program included keynote addresses, didactic sessions, workshops, and poster sessions built around this theme, as well as a day devoted to visiting community health care facilities.
A highlight of the 2013 Network: TUFH conference was the first annual Projects That Work plenary session, sponsored and organized by FAIMER, which showcased five projects that have been successfully addressing missions related to the conference theme for three years or longer. The intent of the Projects That Work initiative—which will be an annual feature of The Network: TUFH conference—is to recognize excellent projects that have succeeded beyond initial implementation and have had a significant impact on health, the community, or the school, as well as to encourage the development, implementation, and dissemination of more such projects. An open worldwide call resulted in 120 submissions, from which five were selected by an international panel of 13 reviewers.
The 2013 Projects That Work winning projects were represented at the conference by (pictured above, left to right) Marietjie van Rooyen (South Africa), Mark Shephard (Australia), Elizabeth Paterno (Philippines), Marco Sosa (Colombia), and Saurav Das (India). The plenary panel discussion was moderated by FAIMER Associate Vice President for Education Bill Burdick, who also facilitated a preconference workshop titled “Project Management and Theory of Change.” Other Projects That Work conference components included a poster session and a workshop titled “Using SOCKS, an Innovative Tool for Environmental Analysis in Project Planning,” both facilitated by Ralf Rundgren Graves, FAIMER Associate Director, Regional Institutes; and a workshop titled “Publishing and Other Scholarly Forms of Knowledge Dissemination,” facilitated by Bill Burdick and the co-editors of The Network: TUFH’s journal Education for Health, Michael Glasser and Don Pathman.
Projects That Work will also be a feature of the next Network: TUFH conference to be held in Fortaleza, Brazil, November 19-23, 2014. Check back for an announcement of the opening of the competition application soon.