Between 29 January – 2 February 2018, AFIDEP’s Rose Oronje, Violet Murunga, and Claire Jensen delivered a training on policy engagement and evidence uptake for IMPALA researchers at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM). IMPALA, which stands for the Interdisciplinary Multidisciplinary Programme to Address Lung Health and TB in Africa, is a collaborative research programme hosted by LSTM spanning 11 countries in Africa. In our role as co-leader of the pathways-to-impact component of the programme, AFIDEP will conduct trainings to strengthen the capacity of IMPALA researchers to develop strategies to engage with decision-makers about their research, including sharpening skills in policy analysis, stakeholder mapping, packaging evidence, and monitoring, evaluation, and learning for policy influence.
This first training in the series focused on the IMPALA Ph.D. students, four of whom are currently in the process of completing residential masters’ degrees at Lancaster University. The five students’ projects represent five key disciplines for IMPALA – clinical, social science, health economics, health systems, and policy. Over the course of the week, the Ph.D. students not only learned key skills, methods and tools for policy engagement and evidence uptake, they also gained clarity on their research questions and left with the beginnings of policy engagement and evidence uptake plans for their projects, which they will implement from the beginning of their research. Also present at the training were other IMPALA researchers and faculty from LSTM, who actively participated in the sessions and helped in guiding the Ph.D. students as they developed their strategies.
In the coming months, AFIDEP will hold a training for IMPALA postdoctoral research assistants.