Open Society Institute

Life-Saving Scientific information boost via Internet to health researchers in Africa, Central Asia and Eastern Europe

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Open Society Institute (OSI), a part of the Soros Foundation network, have teamed up with leading information providers ISI(r) and Silver Platter and other public and private partners to provide access to high quality scientific information, via the Internet, to research centres in countries in Africa, Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Discussions are also under way with Elsevier Science to join the initiative. This pilot project is part of a wider United Nations programme called Health InterNetwork" which aims to improve global public health by facilitating the flow of information worldwide, using Internet technologies.

Based on the experience gained in the first pilot year, the partnership will roll out, over five years, sustainable, affordable scientific information packages to medical and health research institutions in a large number of resource-strapped countries. It is anticipated that by the end of year two, between 30 and 40 countries will have joined.

The pilot phase will enable researchers, teachers and students at leading research institutions in Armenia, Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Mongolia, Uganda, Tanzania and Uzbekistan to access top-of-the-line international scientific information in digital format, and to integrate the world scientific community through electronic communication.