Our Work

Our Work

Strengthening Capacity for Evidence Use in Health Policy

The Strengthening Capacity to Use Research Evidence in Health Policy (SECURE Health) programme seeks to optimise individual and institutional capacity in accessing and utilising health research evidence in decision-making in Kenya and Malawi. Not much is known on what works and what doesn’t in strengthening the capacity of policymakers and their institutions to use research evidence, and so the SECURE Health programme generates important information to fill this knowledge gap. Lessons from Kenya and Malawi are shared through annual platforms of the East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC) in order to share learning with other countries in sub-Saharan Africa. SECURE Health is a three-year programme running from November 2013 to November 2016.

Project Manager

Rose N. Oronje, Ph.D.
Rose N. Oronje, Ph.D. Director, Public Policy & Communications Read More

Countries

Kenya

SECURE Health is implemented in Kenya in partnership with MoH and Parliament.

Kenya was chosen because typifies a context with a strong health research community (several government and non-governmental research institutions), following considerable past and current investments by the government and donor agencies in health research generation and capacity building. This context therefore presents an ideal setting for testing what can be done on the ‘demand-side’ of evidence to enable increased use of research evidence whose supply is considerably reliable given the mentioned investments. The Kenyan context typifies a context common in a several other African countries and so lessons from Kenya could be replicated elsewhere.

Important contextual characteristics for Kenya relating to SECURE Health programme include:

  • The MoH has a Division of Health Research and Development, which coordinates research use within the ministry. This was formed in 2013, with the coming in of a new government. The Division has a staffing of 4 members of staff.
  • There are no guidelines for policy-making in the health sector.
  • The Parliament has a Research Services Unit, which employs about 30 researchers. Many of these researchers were employed recently in the last quarter of 2014, and the parliament has therefore focused a lot on developing their capacity for better support to parliamentary committees and MPs in providing evidence for debating and decision-making.
  • The government makes considerably limited investments in health research generation and translation. Health research generation is mainly funded by foreign donor agencies.

Malawi

SECURE Health is implemented in Malawi in partnership with MoH and Parliament.

Malawi was chosen for this programme because unlike Kenya, it typifies a context with relatively weak capacity for research generation (the College of Medicine is the only government agency for health research generation). Malawi’s context also typifies the context in a few other African countries, and so lessons from Malawi could be application countries with similar contexts.

Important contextual characteristics for Malawi relating to SECURE Health programme include:

  • The MoH has a Research Unit, which coordinates research use within the ministry. The unit has 2 members of staff.
  • There are existing guidelines for policymaking in the health sector.
  • The MoH operates a Knowledge Translation Platform (KTP), initiated in 2012, which seeks to synthesise evidence for decision-making and strengthen links between policymakers and researchers
  • The Parliament has about 3-6 researchers who support committees and MPs in the provision of evidence for their debating and decision-making.
  • The government makes considerably limited investments in health research generation and translation. Health research generation is mainly funded by foreign donor agencies.

Lessons from Kenya and Malawi are being implemented in the ECSA-HC countries namely: – Lesotho, Mauritius, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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