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SDRC TR 1994-01: Asia and Pacific Second Social Science and Medicine (APSSAM) Conference: Its Planning and Implementation

In September 1992, Dr. Pilar Ramos-Jimenez, Coordinator of SDRC's Social Science and Reproductive Health Program, attended the XII Social Science and Medicine International Conference in Peebles, Scotland. She was one of the five Filipino participants to the conference. In this gathering, the Asians agreed that it would hold the second Asia and Pacific Conference in 1994, with Manila as possible regional site. The first regional conference was held in New Delhi, India, in 1992. When the confirmation that the conference would be held in Manila was received in March 1993 from the Social Science and Medicine International Journal, the Philippine Organizing Committee drew up the plans and mechanisms and scheduled the conference for 23-27 May 1994 at the Philippine Social Science Center. The conference was held under the joint auspices of the Asia and Pacific Regional Task Force of the International Forum for the Social Sciences in Health and the Social Sciences and Medicine International Journal. The meeting was known as the Asia and Pacific Second Social Science and Medicine (APSSAM) Conference. The planning phase of the conference was undertaken with financial support from the Ford Foundation. The Philippine Organizing Committee was composed of health and social scientists from the academe, government, and non-government organizations. These institutions were the Department of Health, the Social Sciences Division of the Ateneo de Davao University; the Social Development Research Center of De La Salle University; the College of Public Health of the University of the Philippines-Manila; the WHO-TDR Project of the University of the Philippines-Diliman; the Philippine Social Science Council, Inc.; the Community Medicine Development Foundation; the Health Action Information Network; the Philippine Psychology Research Training House; and the Philippine Health Social Science Association. Sub-committees were created and volunteers from the various organizations served in these groupings. The convenor of the APSSAM Conference was Pilar Ramos-Jimenez. The Philippine Social Science Council administrative staff and the DLSU-SDRC Social Science and Reproductive Health staff served as the secretariat. The organizers agreed that the thrust of the conference should address partnership experiences in Asia and the Pacific among social scientists, health professionals, and community organizations working together to improve the health of human populations. The theme of the conference was thus "Meeting the Health of the 21st Century: Partnership in Social Science and Health Science." The objectives of the five-day conference were: 1) To share partnership experiences and findings from research, training and action in different health areas, particularly gender, sexuality and reproductive health; traditional medicine and pharmaceuticals; disaster management; child and adolescent health; gerontology; environmental, occupational and urban health; infectious and tropical diseases; health policy development; health ethics; the teaching of social sciences in health; and other pertinent areas of human health. 2) To identify issues and concerns relevant to the partnership in health care that can be addressed by the collaboration of social scientists, health professionals, and community organizations. 3) To launch an Asia and the Pacific network of social scientists in health. 4) To develop a program of action to strengthen working relationships among social scientists, health professionals, program planners and community workers. By virtue of Proclamation 388, Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos declared the period from 23-28 May 1994 as the National Social Science and Medicine Week. The Proclamation was issued in recognition of the significance of the regional conference as well as to focus public attention on the new partnership of social scientists and health professionals in health research, program development and policy formulation. The APSSAM May 1994 conference had a total of 143 participants from 13 countries of the Asia and Pacific and other regions of the world. Funding support came from the following international and local sponsors: The Ford Foundation, the International Development Research Centre, the Australia International Development Authority Board, the Philippine Social Science Council, ASTRA-Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the Quezon City Mayor, and the Chancellor of the University of the Philippines in Manila. The conference culminated with the establishment of the Asia and Pacific Regional Network of the International Forum for Social Sciences in Health (APNET) and the adoption of two major resolutions. These resolutions were: a) fora to examine the teaching of health social sciences in the region, and b) the establishment of an Asia and Pacific Working Group for Gender, Sexuality and Reproductive Health. Both efforts will be part of the APNET with the aim of facilitating information sharing and collaborative activities in teaching research and training. The Social Development Research Center was assigned by the APSSAM participants to prepare the proposal for these resolutions.

DLSU-Social Development Research Center
Authors Keywords
Ramos-Jimenez, Pilar; science and technology; social and cultural;
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