The Heightening Institutional Capacity for Government Use of Health Research (HIGH-Res)
Evidence plays a crucial role in improving the quality of policy, programme and practice decisions that contribute to improved development effectiveness. However, the decision-making process is often complex, and thus evidence has to compete with many other factors, including the varied interests of policymakers, politics, value systems, technical and institutional capacities, and financial constraints.
The Heightening Institutional Capacity for Government Use of Health Research (HIGH-Res) in Kenya, Malawi and Uganda project brought together various partners under the HIGH-Res East Africa Consortium to design, implement and evaluate innovative and politically responsive interventions to strengthen institutional capacity for use of health research in policymaking in Kenya, Malawi and Uganda. The proposed interventions leveraged and build on existing relationships and collaborations among consortium partners, efforts and mechanisms in the three countries to maximise programme impact on building institutional capacity for evidence-informed decision-making (EIDM).
To achieve its main goal of building institutional capacity for evidence-informed decision-making, the project’s interventions leveraged and build on existing relationships and collaborations among consortium partners, and the efforts and mechanisms in the three countries to further maximise impact.
The project’s interventions were guided by its five main objectives (in bold):
- Strengthen the existing structures to institutionalise the mechanisms for evidence synthesis and use in the health sector by enhancing the functioning of technical working groups (TWGs) to focus on evidence; build the capacity of Ministry of Health (MoH) staff in commissioning research and evidence reviews; and support the revival and/or creation of mechanisms and tools for evidence synthesis and application
- Institutionalise mechanisms needed to enable regular interaction between researchers and health sector decision-makers by enabling sustained interactions in the formulation and implementation of health policies and strategies, and piloting innovative sessions at existing annual conferences that discuss evidence on priority health sector issues with policymakers
- Institutionalise evidence-informed decision-making (EIDM) training in existing training programmes for health professionals and other civil servants by working with training institutions to introduce EIDM training modules in existing pre-service and in-service training programmes
- Embed EIDM incentives and innovations into MoH systems and structures by incorporating EIDM requirements, tools and practices in existing routine processes and procedures (including performance contracts where they exist) within the MoH
- Monitor, evaluate and learn from interventions to provide evidence on what works in strengthening institutional capacity for EIDM
Baseline surveys were conducted to identify gaps, opportunities and challenges to inform program implementation.
Overall, the project aimed to strengthen existing institutional systems, structures and processes within each country’s MoH (Kenya, Malawi and Uganda), introduce new ones, while integrating individual capacity-building, to enable a sustained culture of evidence-informed decision-making.
The HIGH-Res project will update as these outcomes are achieved.
The project is coordinated by a variety of partners in the three countries:
- African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) – Lead
- Ministry of Health – Kenya
- Ministry of Health – Malawi
- Ministry of Health – Uganda
- Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI)
- The Malawi EVIDENT Network (comprising Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust Centre (MLW), and College of Medicine at the University of Malawi)
- Regional East African Community Health Policy Initiative (REACH-PI) Uganda Node, Makerere University (Collaborator)
The HIGH-Res project received financial support from the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research (the Alliance) at the World Health Organisation, and Wellcome Trust. The Alliance is able to conduct its work thanks to the commitment and support from a variety of funders. These include its long-term core contributors from national governments and international institutions, as well as designated funding for specific projects within its current priorities. For the full list of Alliance donors, please visit: https://www.who.int/alliance-hpsr/partners/en/
|Dates:||August 2019 to March 2023|
The HIGH-Res project was a collaborative programme that aimed to strengthen institutional capacity for the use of health research in policy and programme decisions in Kenya, Malawi and Uganda. This was achieved through the design, implementation and continuous evaluation of innovative and politically responsive interventions within the Ministries of Health (MoHs) in the three countries.
|Where:||Kenya , Malawi , Uganda|
|Project Manager:||Leyla Hussein Abdullahi, Ph.D.|