Introduction: Arash Rashidian, Egypt - Director of Science, Information and Dissemination at WHO EMRO

1 March, 2020

Dear HIFA members

First of all, many thanks to HIFA moderators for accepting my membership request. I am delighted to be part of this important and well respected forum. The purpose of this email is to introduce myself, as a new member. I start with a brief introduction to my areas of responsibility, followed by a personal intro (if you have any appetite to read further).

Areas of current responsibility:

I am Arash Rashidian (MD PhD), Director of the Division of Science, Information and Dissemination (SID) in WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office. I lead the regional efforts in some areas of relevance to HIFA objectives: “Information Systems for Health”, “Evidence and Data to Policy”, “Research and Innovation” (that includes Digital Health), as well as “Library & Knowledge Sharing” (includes Knowledge Management). The division is responsible for three major priority programs for the region: 1) development of valid and timely health information (“core indicators program”); 2) improving valid mortality and birth data (“CRVS agenda”), focused on causes of death; and 3) improving evidence-informed policy making. I am also the Executive Editor of the Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal, the flagship WHO publication in the EMR.

To give an introduction to the regional agenda in some of these areas following short material might be useful :

1- A two page paper published in the EMHJ, summarizing the regional agenda in support of effective health information systems (accessible through the hyperlink).

2- A 3 minute long video introducing new framework for evidence-informed policy making for health. (hyperlink)

3- A 5 minute interview on challenges in measuring UHC. (hyperlink)

More resources can be shared if colleagues are interested.

More on my background [if still interested in reading :-) ]:

I moved to WHO from the position of Deputy Chancellor for Public Health and Primary Care at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences, where I was also a Professor of Health Policy and Management at the School of Public Health (currently on unpaid leave from this position). I have an established career in health policy and systems development in different countries, and have extensively published in areas of evidence informed decision making, health care financing, coverage and purchasing policies, organization of primary care and hospital services, pharmaceutical policies, quality of care and health workforce.

Previously, I was the founding Director of National Institute of Health Research (Iran), Visiting Professor at the Imperial College London (UK), Honorary Professor at the Shiraz University of Medical Sciences (Iran), methodological advisor to the National Collaborating Centre for Acute Care (affiliated to NICE, UK), Lecturer (Assistant Professor) at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (UK), Visiting Associate Professor at the Aga Khan University (Pakistan), and Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Bangor University (UK). I have provided health policy advice to ministries of health of several countries in Asia, Africa and Europe, have supervised several PhD and MSc/MPH students, have taught at post-graduate level, and have been an editor of prestigious journals.

HIFA profile: Arash Rashidian is Director of Science, Information and Dissemination at WHO EMRO in Egypt. Email address: rashidiana AT