The Africa Centre Perspective Of Public Engagement Presented By Mbongiseni Buthelezi (Head Of External Relations)
Presentation Outline What is the Africa Centre? How does the Africa Centre conduct its research? What research does the Africa Centre do? What is Public Engagement for Africa Centre? What is the value of Public Engagement for the Africa Centre? How do we do Public Engagement? What has been the effect of Public Engagement?
What is the Africa Centre? Africa Centre University of KwaZulu-Natal College of Health Sciences Governing Committee Chair : Vice-Chancellor Members: MRC, University, Community UKZN Research Ethics Committee Relevant Research Committees Service Providers Dept of Health Hlabisa Hospital & sub-district Umkhanyakude Health District Dept of Education Dept of Social Development Authorities Umkhanyakude District Municipality Hlabisa Local Municipality Mtubatuba Local Municipality Traditional Councils (x4) Community Advisory Board Ward Committee Representatives Izigodi Representatives Service Depts Representatives
Mission Statement To conduct policy-relevant health and population research, in an ethical manner, in partnership with the community in which we work, and to enhance the capacity of the people of sub-Saharan Africa to do research
How is research conducted? Africa Centre Community-based Research Surveillance area Mobile teams – Household consent, Individual written consent Facility-based Research In partnership with public service providers Linked to capacity enhancement of public service Community Liaison Dedicated CLO team Integrated communications strategy Capacity building of community members Policy Liaison Dedicated PL Officer Understanding research needs of policy makers Communicating research results
What do we do? (Research Objectives) 1.To improve understanding of HIV dynamics and the impact of ART roll-out at individual, household, clinic, community level 2.To identify approaches to and target groups for interventions 3.To evaluate interventions at individual, household and community level 4.To implement and further evaluate HIV treatment and prevention programmes
What Is Public Engagement (PE)? It means different things to different people Our working definition: As a term that has recently been used, particularly in the UK, it refers to "the involvement of specialists listening to, developing their understanding of, and interacting with, non- specialists" (as defined by England's university funding agency, HEFCE in 2006).
Why Public Engagement? We believe in its value & importance To realize our core mission (raison d'être) Our major research donor, WT, believes it is important To ensure that the public voice is fed into our research activities To provide meaningful research, advice, information & capacity development
Cont.... To ensure the responsiveness of Government programmes & services to the needs of local people To promote the policy-influencing value of our research with policy-makers To promote greater use of research-based evidence in health and population policy formulation
How Do We Do Engagement? Community meetings & workshops Internal newsletter – Umbiko & Community Input Questionaire (COMIQ) Community feedback roadshows Annual research reports Print & web publications Weekly scientific meetings (Colloquia) Policy workshops, dialogues & seminars Conferences
Cont….. Media events & briefings Collaborative research projects (UCT, UKZN, LSHTM, Agincourt) Youth Engagement Project (Welcome Trust) Research donors reports & publications Science Café (Planned) KZN Prevention Research Network (Planned)
Positive Effect Of Engagement? The Africa Centre has worked for more than 10 years with (in) the same community & is still doing ground-breaking research! In 2008: 47 publications with 13 in press Research input: UKZN came second after UP, Africa Centre took first place within UKZN. A DoH HIV Treatment & Care Programme – 16 PHCs, 5800 patients, 20 HBC organizations