Abstract in English:Those in charge of directing scientific research face a daunting task: finding a proper balance between excellence in research and that research's relevance to people's health problems. In developing countries, this task is further hampered by deficient scientific and technological infrastructure, the lack of competitiveness of its research community, and the shortage of research funds. This article explains some of the mechanisms that have been put in place in Latin America to achieve a balance between excellence and relevance, especially by promoting research that targets pertinent public health problems. Within this context, the multicenter studies being conducted under the auspices of the Pan American Health Organization's Program for the Support of Research are described. The article also lays out the fundamental features of a new model for international cooperation to generate knowledge to help resolve the public health problems of the countries of the Americas.
Abstract in English:Violence prevention policies should be based on information, follow-up, research, and analysis, all of which increase the chances of success and make it easier to evaluate interventions. This implies, in turn, that there is a need to create surveillance, research, and prevention models for violence within the sphere of public health and epidemiology, a task that constitutes an integral part of the Pan American Health Organization's Regional Plan of Action Health and Violence. This article describes the objectives of epidemiologic surveillance systems and explains their purpose and scope, along with the barriers that stand in the way of their implementation. It also examines a number of variables and their definitions, the types of analyses and reports that should be generated, and the decisions that can be made on the basis of these reports. Finally, it discusses ethical criteria and describes the experiences of the program known as Desarrollo, Seguridad y Paz (DESEPAZ) in Cali and Santa Fe de Bogota, Colombia, where an epidemiologic surveillance system against violence has been implemented.
Abstract in English:Since 1995, PAHO has been carrying out in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru a project known as "Violence against Women and Girls: Proposal to Establish Community-coordinated Interventions in Three Countries of the Andean Subregion." Its purpose is to support initiatives being conducted by various nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), government agencies, and social institutions in an attempt to improve the status of women. One of its objectives is to formulate public policies and local services aimed at preventing and combating violence against women and girls through local action networks, data-gathering systems, and legal proposals. This article examines what the initiative has achieved so far in Ecuador, in efforts conducted in Quito, Guayaquil, and Sigsig with the support of three national NGOs and in conjunction with the Ministry of Health and the National Women's Council.