GloPID-R’s Research & Policy Team takes an active part in the first WHO Clinical Trials Forum

For global research funding organizations, the COVID-19 pandemic confirmed the critical role that funders can play to build, enhance, and sustain clinical trial capacity. Bringing together extensive expertise on this topic, the first WHO Clinical Trials Forum was held in November 2023 to explore a joint vision on strengthening clinical research capabilities aligned with the World Health Assembly resolution (WHA75.8).

 Some 130 delegates from 43 countries, as well as many more online participants, attended the first WHO Clinical Trials Forum on November 20-21, 2023. They included researchers from across the clinical trial spectra as well as representatives of research funding organizations, regulatory authorities, ethics committees, and industry.

Alice Norton, Head of GloPID-R’s Research & Policy Team, was invited to speak at the Forum and presented the GloPID-R Funders Living Roadmap for Clinical Trial Coordination. Louise Sigfrid, Clinical Research Specialist within the Team, and Professor Yazdan Yazdanpanah, co-Chair of the GloPID-R Clinical Trials Working Group, were also in attendance. In total, 10 members of the Working Group attended the Forum.

Dr. Alice Norton, presenting on the GloPID-R Living Roadmap for Clinical Trial Coordination at the WHO Clinical Trials Forum


Funding Models: Key Takeaways

On the second day, a Funders Roundtable discussion focused on funding models. Key takeaways from the discussions included the following:

  • Long-term investment in clinical trial networks is essential. Project-based, ‘stop-start’ funding presents a barrier to maintaining capabilities and capacities. Instruments for joint funding calls to support and coordinate funding for multi-national trials are important across national, regional, and global levels.
  • Alongside direct funding toward networks and adaptive trial platforms, funders spoke of the need to fund programs to support coordination and the quality of trials. Greater focus is needed to improve coordination at the local level through supporting key centers for global health research.
  • Community engagement in clinical trials is a critical component toward ensuring their impact. Funders can better support this by aligning on expectations and associated guidance for community engagement in their funding calls.


Strengthening the clinical trial ecosystem globally is an essential component of the WHA Resolution. The Forum built on a series of regional consultations to reflect on clinical research capabilities at both the regional and global levels. Isabel Foster of the GloPID-R Research & Policy Team participated in the WHO AFRO consultation in Lusaka, Zambia on October 17-18, 2023.

Isabel Foster, GloPID-R Research & Policy Officer, speaking at the WHO AFRO regional consultation

With its coordinated funding initiative gathering momentum, GloPID-R is convening funders to support global coordination, and one potential topic is to explore ways to leverage existing investments in clinical trials to add value to funds already allocated.


Updates on GloPID-R’s Coordinated Funding Mechanism

First WHO Global Clinical Trials Forum puts forward a global vision for sustainable clinical research infrastructure
The future of the global clinical trial ecosystem: a vision from the first WHO Global Clinical Trials Forum
GloPID-R Funders Living Roadmap for Clinical Trial Coordination

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The GloPID-R Secretariat is a project which receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101094188.