HIFA Voices

Supported by:




We are enormously grateful to The Lancet, which has agreed to be the first Lead Sponsor of HIFA Voices. We are currently seeking further financial and technical support to enable us to develop HIFA Voices in full. Please contact us for details.

HIFA Voices is a searchable, multilingual database that will bring together the experiential knowledge of HIFA members, with full functional linkage to the Human Resources for Health Global Resource Center, the world’s leading database on Human Resources for Health. HIFA Voices is the second critical component of the HIFA Strategy (1. HIFA Forums; 2. HIFA Voices; 3. HIFA Advocacy Programme). Full implementation of the HIFA Strategy is expected to accelerate progress towards the HIFA Vision: a world where people are no longer dying for lack of access to healthcare information.

We have already developed a prototype HIFA Voices database that has been used successfully by WHO to help inform the development of international guidance on Optimising Health Worker Roles for Maternal and Newborn Health. HIFA Voices contains three types of knowledge object: HIFA Quotations, HIFA Citations (Formal), and HIFA Citations (Informal). HIFA Quotations are short verbatim extracts from HIFA discussions.

Several hundred HIFA Quotations on the subject of Traditional Birth Attendants formed the basis of a qualitative analysis published in April 2014:
Owolabi O et al. Stakeholder views on the incorporation of traditional birth attendants into the formal health systems of low-and middle-income countries: a qualitative analysis of the HIFA2015 and CHILD2015 email discussion forums. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2014, 14:118.

We aim to launch the prototype publicly in May 2014, together with a new HIFA.org website to take us through 2015 and beyond.

HIFA Voices will also underpin our growing Advocacy Programme. In particular, we shall expand our new initiative which monitors progressive and regressive action by governments in relation to the availability of healthcare knowledge. We have previously shown with the New York Law School that governments have a legal obligation under international human rights law to ensure that health professionals and citizens have access to the information they need to protect their own health and the health of others. We intend to hold governments to account on this obligation.

“Being a member of HIFA2015 has helped to deepen my understanding of the similarities and differences in issues relating to healthcare information access around the world.”
Sowmya Rajasekaran, Lumbini Eye Institute, Nepal

“I depend on the community knowledge of HIFA 2015 to stay in touch with the current state of health information. I keep many of the emails from the listserv in a folder for future reference so I can search for recommendations, lessons learned and underlying issues from my peers when I am researching a health topic. As this is such an important reference tool for me, I would find it very valuable if recommendations, lessons learned and underlying issues could be extracted by HIFA2015 editors and organized in a searchable database.”
Rebecca Rhodes, HRH Global Resource Center, IntraHealth International, USA

“HIFA should collate all the contributions and tender her views to the Lancet Commission [on Global Surgery] as a powerful global voice in health delivery”
Oluyombo Awojobi, Consultant Rural Surgeon, Nigeria

Note: HIFA Voices is a specialised, experiential database that helps us collectively to build a picture of the global healthcare knowledge ecosystem and the drivers and barriers within it. The database is expected to drive shared learning and improvements in the effectiveness of health publishing and information services. HIFA Voices is not itself a provider of healthcare information. Thousands of different organisations are already involved in the provision of healthcare information, most of whom are represented among the HIFA membership, including for example the World Health Organization.