Takeaways From Medicine 2.0

Sophie Beauvais | GlobalHealthDelivery.org | September 17, 2012

When I was invited to join a panel on the role of social networks in global health at the Medicine 2.0 conference this weekend in Boston, my first thought was, ‘wow, people still say ‘2.0’’ … That said, I was delighted to join former colleague Kavitha Nallathambi, who is with Knowledge for Health (K4Health) at John Hopkins, a USAID-funded communities of practice platform for family planning and reproductive health, and Bruno Meessen, an economist who runs an online community for performance-based financing supported by the Harmonization for Health in Africa initiative.

Our lessons learned for communities of practice (COPs) in global health converged. COPs have to be actively managed by experts and professionals for meaningful knowledge exchange to happen. Free solutions exist but beware of dispersion (Bruno uses a Google group; like Kavitha’s group, we have a dedicated COPs platform that integrate free software). And in addition to ‘Terms of Use’ you want to lay out concise “how-tos” that members can easily refer to. (Not surprisingly TED does this really well for its community in 6 points.)