Looking back 10 years and looking forward 5 years - as the INDEPTH Executive Director marks 10th anniversary (2007-2017)

Objective 3: To facilitate the translation of INDEPTH findings to maximise impact on policy and practice   

Summary: The last decade has seen the publication of a number of systematic reviews of member centres’ research, synthesizing the results of hundreds of studies on topics such as maternal health, malaria, HIV/AIDS and nutrition. The profile of the Network has been raised via participation in international forums, the dissemination of policy briefs to decision-makers and increased collaboration both with governments in the countries where member centres operate and with global bodies such as the World Health Organisation, UNECA, NEPAD.
Indicator 3.1: Increasing the number of Systematic Reviews
  • Developed systematic reviews that summarise the results of various INDEPTH studies with the aim of providing evidence for policy and practice. Areas covered: Pregnancies, HIV/AIDS, Nutrition, Education, Cause-specific mortality and Malaria.
Indicator 3.2: Increasing the number of Policy Briefs
  • Different approaches followed to package research results and other important information in ways that are more easily accessible to various INDEPTH stakeholders. These included ‘reader friendly’ policy or news briefs. Worked with Cochrane Reviews and EVIPNet, who have substantial expertise in writing policy briefs to access their resources and training opportunities.
Indicator 3.3: Increasing the number of Stakeholder interactions (national, regional and international)
  • Increased efforts to enhance INDEPTH image and stakeholder interaction by facilitating forums that bring together researchers, policymakers and other stakeholders.
  • Ensured that INDEPTH was represented in international agenda setting forums. This has led to increased recognition of INDEPTH’s expertise and subsequent involvement in various important initiatives e.g. strengthening of CRVS and WHO working groups.
  • An increase in reports from member centres on their national, regional and international interactions with diverse stakeholders including relevant Government departments, WHO and other international agencies.
Indicator 3.4: Increasing Policy/ Practice influence and the number of recommended changes linked to INDEPTH findings
  • INDEPTH participated in the WHO efforts to develop the verbal autopsy (VA) tools and these were published with the INDEPTH brand.
  • Research at some INDEPTH member centres has contributed to new policies or amendments to regulations/guidelines.
  • Member centres reported increased impact of their work in their countries, contributing to government support for HDSS work in countries such as Ghana, Ethiopia and South Africa.
Key challenges in the pursuance of this objective
  • Many centres not having policy engagement and communications officers
  • Limited resources at the Network level to continuously engage international stakeholders
  • Inability to meet the centre-specific demands to assist with policy engagement and communications activities.
Policy Engagement and Communications