The distance coaching phase of the sixth edition of Emerging Voices for Global Health (EV4GH) initiative by Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp   was officially launched on 6th July by the EV secretariat hosted at IPH Bengaluru. This distance coaching phase constitutes the first of the two part program which will culminate in the Fifth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in Liverpool, to be held on 8-12 October 2018.  The work towards this year’s programme began months ago with the secretariat receiving more than 500 applicants from 80 countries across the globe. The 38 candidates who made the cut, to be called the Emerging Voices of 2018, have embarked on a journey which will prepare them in months of July-September through online coaching, followed by face-to-face training in Liverpool later this year. The aim of these sessions is to help them develop better communication skills tailored to the needs of the research community and its audience.  In addition to young researchers, this year we also welcome other health system actors such as policy makers, health activists, journalists to join this prestigious programme.

The distance coaching phase of this program consists of six modules spread across nine weeks. This phase is to help the participants familiarise themselves with the format of the programme, hone research presentation skills and get to know their fellow EVs and the various areas of interest that they represent. Throughout this phase the participants will be supported by the team at IPH and a team of facilitators with expertise in different thematic areas of public health. The end goal of this part of the programme is to help the participants develop a presentation and a poster/policy brief on a public health topic chosen by them.

This first week of the programme started off with introductions by EVs and facilitators with many of them sharing with us some really inviting pictures from their countries, places they would like us to visit. The array of beautiful places shared by the participants reminded us of all the beauty around the world and definitely got us a case of itchy feet!  

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