If research is to deliver its maximum impact and positively change health outcomes, findings from health research should be translated into recommendations that are relevant to communities and can be implemented within policy and practice. Currently, there is wide separation between teams that undertake health research, those making decisions on health priorities and policies, and those who are delivering healthcare and pushing social change, particularly in resource-limited settings.
Our partner programme, Applying Research to Policy and Practice for Health (ARCH) aims to design, test and improve the mechanisms for research uptake, with a focus on researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to support better transfer of research findings into improvements in policy. A stakeholder mapping exercise, conducted in March 2020, concluded that for research uptake to happen strong community and stakeholder engagement, must be incorporated through the planning and delivery of research projects. Engagement was recognised as a crucial enabler of research uptake, where community perspectives and concerns shape how research findings are translated and add motivation for them to be applied at local and national level.
ARCH and Mesh are working in partnership to present the “Community Engagement within Research Uptake” webinar series where inspiring speakers will share their experiences and give their perspectives on the role of community engagement within the process of applying research to changes in health policy and practice.
Webinar 1: Maternal and Child Health
This first webinar in our series held on 2 December 2021 explored the role of community engagement within the process of applying research to changes in health policy and practice, focusing on maternal and child health. We were joined by two inspiring researchers who have shared their experiences of the power of participatory research and engagement to improve health services and well-being in marginalised communities in Kenya and Bangladesh.
Chair: Dr Titus Divala - Epidemiologist, Kamuzu University of Health Sciences, Malawi.
Dr Elizabeth Kimani-Murage is a Public Health Nutrition Specialist and a Research Scientist is the head of the Maternal and Child Wellbeing Unit at APHRC. She is also a Wellcome Trust International Engagement Fellow, undertaking public engagement on the right to food in Kenya. She is also an Adjunct Faculty at Brown University, USA and an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Glasgow, UK. She is passionate about improving lives and promoting human dignity through policy-relevant, action-oriented research, programs and engagement, and is championing research on optimal early child nutrition, development and wellbeing; and food security in sub-Saharan Africa.
Dr Sabrina Rasheed works within Universal Health Coverage, Health System and Population Studies Division of icddr,b in Bangladesh. Her research focuses on health systems strengthening, ICT for health, equity, maternal and child nutrition, infant and young child feeding and policy analysis and stakeholder analysis. She has extensive experience in conducting studies on diverse topics related to urban health, informal health sector, population health, ICTs for health, health policy and innovations in health. She has worked extensively with marginalized population to ensure that health services are made accountable and voices of marginalized populations are heard using participatory and action-oriented tools.
To find out more about the other webinars in the series, please visit the ARCH page
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