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ESSENCE on Health Research Enhancing Support for Strengthening the Effectiveness of National Capacity Efforts.

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Presentation on theme: "ESSENCE on Health Research Enhancing Support for Strengthening the Effectiveness of National Capacity Efforts."— Presentation transcript:

1 ESSENCE on Health Research Enhancing Support for Strengthening the Effectiveness of National Capacity Efforts

2 Conclusions (1) ESSENCE is an initiative of research funders committed to finding efficient methods of strengthening research capacity for health in low income countries in Africa in a concerted way in the spirit of the Paris Agenda Research in and by low income countries requires the presence of robust in-country research capacity Sustainable research capacity strengthening for health is more than research project support involving individual training; it requires support to the basis for performing research as defined by funded institutions

3 Conclusions (2) For alignment of efforts of funders to happen, there need to be strategies and implementation plans defined by institutions performing research for health Harmonisation does not necessarily mean funders funding exactly the same thing, but agreeing to simplify where possible, for instance agreeing to joint reporting systems Coherence in research capacity funding suggests working in concert to reduce fragmentation and above all to do no harm

4 ESSENCE for health research Is a collaborative framework between funding agencies (development agencies, philanthropists, charities and multilateral initiatives) providing synergism to address research capacity needs. It aims to improve the impact of investment in institutions and enabling mechanisms that address the identified needs and priorities within national strategies on research for health.

5 ESSENCE Focus Funders of research for health Research (and innovation) capacity strengthening Low income countries in Africa

6 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights December 10th 1948, General Assembly of the United Nations Article 27 1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits. 2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

7 But does this translate to every low income country having the right to have capacity to produce and utilise scientific information Or is it enough for others to produce and give to them to use?

8 Not all countries should have national airlines, some must use the expertise of those with resources. So why should all low-income countries have institutions of health research? A provocative statement made by one of the Northern proponents of research for health Perhaps not all need an airline, but low-income countries definitely need a cadre of people who can ask their own questions and have the tools to address getting the answers Otherwise, who will ask the pertinent questions deemed relevant and of importance to the low income countries? –Unreasonable to think it will be those with other agendas, however well meaning

9 The tensions of research for health approaches in low-income African countries Different approaches justified by: By and for –Defining the important problem of the countries and providing the know-how to be copied by the low-income countries through technology transfer –If there is not the adequate capacity, who or what system can receive the transferred technology and sustain it? Doing for –Basing the argument on urgent need to address the burning issues of today –Sustainability in question In and by –It is only by having the research know-how in the countries where the problems exist, to do and utilise research done that sustainable research capacity can be achieved –This is a long term endeavour

10 Research capacity is more than human resources What then are the other elements?

11 National Research capacity entails Asking nationally relevant questions Culture of inquiry Innovation systems Agents of Change: Using evidence to question Capacity to be part of international research community Skills for carrying out research National research capacity National research and ethics Capacity Research University as a hub Capacity to utilise external research/knowledge Capacity for evaluation Capacity for analysis National commitment to research Budget line for National research National research policy & strategy Capacity to generate own knowledge

12 University Research capacity entails Skills for research management University policies and strategies Mechanisms to encourage & reward research Research Leadership skills Access to Information Communication Technology Capacity for local PhD examination Well trained Researchers Research University An Enabling Environment for research Improved teaching- less didactic Dedicated university budget for research Culture of inquiry University mechanisms for innovation Mechanisms of research communication Access to scientific literature


14 Africa is huge and capacity to do research diverse

15 Diversity in capacity for research for health in low income countries Continued research capacity strengthening is an ongoing endeavour in all countries Research capacity issues are under control in some countries but in others the challenges remain acute It is important to distinguish the needs of countries (even those on the same continent) who have attained their targets for research capacity with those who are struggling to attain such targets Emphasis of ESSENCE is on low income countries in Africa with weak research capacity for research for health

16 Reiterating the Paris Agenda In the context of research capacity strengthening

17 Paris Agenda For research it is relevant to note: The Paris Declaration highlights the need for research in relation to development for providing the knowledge foundation and the expertise that make it possible for partner countries to analyse, formulate, negotiate, implement and evaluate their own development agenda. –Today these functions are often performed by external consultants and technical assistance, provided by the donors

18 Paris Agenda To change the situation the Paris Declaration states that partner countries should undertake to: Integrate specific capacity strengthening objectives in national development strategies and pursue their implementation through country- led capacity development strategies where needed.

19 Paris Agenda - Alignment Donors base their overall support on partner countries national development strategies, institutions and procedures Currently support to research (for health) is mainly focused on: –research on issues of relevance to low-income countries (theme-based research), organised as projects, with a short- to medium-term perspective and closely connected to the agenda of the funding organisation Less funding goes to –The long-term commitment aimed at all levels of production and utilisation of research in a national or regional setting

20 Paris Agenda - Ownership –Partner countries exercise effective leadership over their development policies and strategies and coordinate development actions

21 Development of partner countries capacity to negotiate collaborative research activities and to apply for research grants in line with their strategic orientation should be advocated Donors involved in research cooperation with a country or regional/ international organisation ought to respect the rules and regulations for research, including research permits, research ethics, staff remuneration and institutional contracts Paris Agenda - Alignment

22 Paris Agenda - Harmonisation Donors actions are more harmonised, transparent and collectively effective This requires support for –establishment of efficient mechanisms for management of external research funds; making it possible to channel funds through partner countries systems –production of uniform reporting formats at the supported institutions to be used by all donors.

23 Paris Agenda - Mutual Accountability Donors and partners are accountable for development results –partner countries and regional organisations should be encouraged to invite all research donors/funders to joint review meetings

24 Coherence Funders should endeavour to adhere to the Paris agenda; We should Be mindful that in an attempt to assist, we should not undermine and fragment the efforts of fragile institutions At the least our actions should do no harm to partner country institutions

25 Basis for research for health The basis for capacity for research for health also requires capacity in areas/disciplines of research of a broad nature. –These include fundamental science (Biology, Statistics, Bio-Physics, molecular biology etc.) as well clinical research and health systems research

26 ESSENCE is a response by funders to contribute to this

27 ESSENCE was established after a meeting of funders in April 2008 in Stockholm entitled Stockholm Meeting on Capacity Building for Research for Health The Establishment of ESSENCE

28 The initial executive group includes development cooperation agencies – the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID ), International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Norwegian, Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) – plus the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust. NEPAD Science, Technology & Innovation have accepted an invitation to be part of the executive group The ESSENCE secretariat is hosted in TDR (Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases). ESSENCE

29 The organisations taking part in the Stockholm meeting Bilateral funding agencies Canada: IDRC + Global Health Research Initiative The Netherlands: NWO/WOTRO (Research Council, Science for Global Development), + Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands Platform for Global Health Policy and Health Systems Research, Norway: NORAD Denmark: DANIDA/MFA + The Danish Research Network for International Health Department of International Health, Immunology & Microbiology University of Copenhagen, Sweden: Sida + Ministry of Foreign Affairs UK: DFID Multilateral organisations The World Bank + WHO, TDR + The Bamako Secretariat Other funders (foundations, research funding bodies) Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation + Howard Hughes Medical Institute + The Wellcome Trust + EDCTP African representatives ISHReCA + WHO/AFRO + WHO Region for Africa Sub-Regional Office in Harare, Zimbabwe,

30 ESSENCE for health Research has started a process between the funders/development partners/donors (collectively referred to as funders) in the spirit of the Paris Agenda ESSENCE is focused on how the funders can best align and harmonise and be coherent and learn from each other in the quest for supporting research capacity in Africa ESSENCE will of course engage partner countries and institutions ESSENCE

31 Is open for all funders, bilateral development agencies, philanthropists, charities etc. who support or are interested in supporting research capacity in low income countries in Africa ESSENCE

32 Sec. Executive Committee ESSENCE Secretariat ESSENCE members DFID SidaBMGF Dutch Wellcome IDRC NEPAD Norad World Bank EDCTP INDEPTH NWO DANIDA ISHReCA WHO/AFRO Global Health Research Initiative RCS initiative A African Dev. bank RCS initiative B RCS initiative C RCS initiative A African countries African advisors

33 Working in the spirit of the Paris Agenda Strategies for Harmonising, alignment and coherence in support for research capacity strengthening in low income countries in Africa

34 What ESSENCE is Not It is not a research (R&D) project but it must be driven by research activities Not a new initiative for disbursing research project funds but a mechanism of funders funding low-income African country strategies of research capacity in a concerted fashion Not a budget support arrangement but could involve basket funding when possible It is not trying to coordinate and define the research for health research performed, but seeking to find appropriate research capacity strengthening modalities in low income countries which if leveraged could have significant impact

35 ESSENCE The Objectives

36 ResultsPerformance Indicators Overall objectiveResearch capacity strengthening is strengthened in Africa in line with the Paris Agenda for Aid Effectiveness Extent to which research capacity support programmes of funders are aligned, coordinated and harmonised, extent to which systems of partner countries are being used (financial, monitoring, etc Long-term objectives: to be achieved by ) A system of support for research capacity strengthening by funding agencies is established that is aligned with the strategies of African Institutions 1) no of funding agencies with support aligned with African partners strategies, implementation of strategies aligned with Afr institutions priorities, interviews (qualitative indicator) 2) Increased number of consolidated meetings organised by supported African Institutions for presenting and reporting on results on research capacity strengthening to all funding agencies/ funders 2) Routines for joint reporting, quality of joint reporting, frequency of joint reporting 3) An increase in the number of development partners in African countries that support research capacity strengthening as an integral part of the development assistance 3) No. of development partners/funders, type of partners/categories, level of funding for RCS 4) Funding agencies accept one reporting format from the African Institutions 4) No of funding agencies using reporting format of Afr institutions 5) Funding agencies accept channelling funding through the African Institutions' own financial system 5) Share of funding going through Afr institutions financial systems, no of funding agencies 6) An increased use of analytical capacity among African researchers to benefit the countrys development 6) The extent to which research produced within African countries is used

37 ResultsPerformance Indicators Overall objectiveResearch capacity strengthening is strengthened in Africa in line with the Paris Agenda for Aid Effectiveness Extent to which research capacity support programmes of funders are aligned, coordinated and harmonised, extent to which systems of partner countries are being used (financial, monitoring, etc Initiative objectives To be achieved by ) Increased understanding of the modalities, logic, role and impact of external research capacity strengthening support in African institutions by ESSENCE members 1a) procedures/Channels for information exchange and collaboration, frequency of coordination meetings 2) Electronic platform for sharing of information on research capacity strengthening established 2) One stop shop for resources in capacity development for science & technology in research for health used by ESSENCE members 3) Procedures for ESSENCE members working together in a concerted fashion in Pilot country collaborations established in Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, Malawi and Mali. 3) Pilot country collaboration tested in Tanzania and continued to be refined in other test countries that follow namely Zambia, Uganda, Malawi, Mali 4) Administrative systems in African Institutions capable of channelling funding from various sources 4) strengthened/developed institutions/routines/practices of financial/adm systems 5) Increased consideration by funding agencies of research strategies and implementation plans of African countries and African Institutions prior to providing support for research capacity strengthening, long-term = alignment 5) strategies and plans in line with those of African countries/institutions 6) Increased number of African Institutions that have comprehensive reporting formats that can be used by several funding agencies/funders (= long-term) 6) No of African institutions with reporting formats used by several funding agencies, usefulness of joint reporting formats (based on interviews)

38 How can ESSENCE work practically?

39 Institutional Needs Outreach Research Funding Research Training Innovation Postgraduate Training Undergraduate Training

40 One Funder may address some institutional needs Funder X contribution

41 Funder Z contribution Funder F contribution Funder Y contribution Several Funders can better impact on overall institutional needs

42 Research capacity needs Endeavouring to limit the fragmentation in the little research capacity strengthening that is supported

43 A concerted approach to research funding Support for the conditions/foundation for research Support for individual researchers Support for research projects –Finding opportunities to work with other donors and funders in the spirit of the Paris Declaration for Aid effectiveness Foundation and Basis Individual researchers

44 How far have we come?

45 ObjectivesKey activities/methodsStatus Global collaboration/dialogue Multilateral meetings involving donors and recipients to discuss cooperation strategies and harmonization Ongoing AdvocacySecretariat to promote Essence through multiple contacts and major funders. ESC to develop a common advocacy package to use in country visits and high level contacts. Ongoing MappingIdentify strategic focus and modalities of funding of agencies/funders including geographic coverage in Africa, gaps and overlaps of institutions and countries funded. Strategic and implementation plans of African Institutions Initiated and soon to be presented to group Country-based pilot modelsReview, analyse and harmonize multiple input and approaches to selected recipient countries. Common plans to be drafted in discussion with developing countries institutions and investigators. Planning for Pilot-1 in Tanzania Document successes and failures Collate reports, information, interviews and results from country visits and questionnaires on most successful practices and support modalities and of unsuccessful ones, identifying reasons for both. To be initiated M&E indicatorsWorking group to review literature, share experiences, develop an indicator matrix and field test indicators To be initiated Electronic platformWorking through TropIKA or SciDev to develop an interactive community of practice space for learning experience. Consolidation of information on calls, reports, guidelines, scientific documents, etc Ongoing negotiations with TropIKA

46 The response is the establishment of ESSENCE A strategy of funders to work together to support research capacity strengthening for health in low-income African Countries

47 Conclusion 3 ESSENCE aims address a number of points raised in the Global strategy and plan of action on public health, innovation and intellectual property (2.3) improving cooperation, participation and coordination of health and biomedical research and development (a) stimulate and improve global cooperation and coordination in research and development, in order to optimize resources (b) enhance existing fora and examine the need for new mechanisms, in order to improve the coordination and sharing of information on research and development activities (c) encourage further exploratory discussions on the utility of possible instruments or mechanisms for essential health and biomedical R&D, including inter alia, an essential health and biomedical R&D treaty (d) support active participation of developing countries in building technological capacity (e) promote the active participation of developing countries in the innovation process

48 (3.2) Framing, developing and supporting effective policies that promote the development of capacities for health innovation (a) establish and strengthen regulatory capacity in developing countries (b) strengthen human resources in research and development in developing countries through long- term national capacity building plans (c) encourage international cooperation to develop effective policies for retention of health professionals including researchers in developing countries (d) urge Member States to establish mechanisms to mitigate the adverse impact of the loss of health personnel in developing countries, particularly researchers, through migration, including by ways for both receiving and originating countries to support the strengthening of national health and research systems, in particular human resource development in the countries of origin, taking into account the work of WHO and other relevant organizations. Conclusion 4 ESSENCE aims to support in a concerted way


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