Nigerian Workshops Focus on Research to Improve Health Services
Applying key research findings to help improve public health services was the focus of a two-day training workshop in Lagos, Nigeria, in June 2012 held by MEASURE Evaluation and Nigerian partners. Training also covered bridging the research-to-practice gap related to HIV and AIDS programs. MEASURE Evaluation also assisted with a research workshop held in Abuja, Nigeria in July 2012 that applied principles taught in the June workshop.
Entitled Conducting High Impact Research, the June workshop was supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development's mission in Nigeria as part of its data demand and use component, which aims to increase the use of quality information and improve program management within national and state governments. The workshop—held at the Rockview Hotel, Apapa—trained about 30 participants from the Nigeria National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and four other government agencies; five universities; and the Society for Family Health, a nongovernmental organization.
To engage participants, the June workshop used group sessions and discussions centered on prioritizing research topics and creating a plan for applying the findings to programs. MEASURE Evaluation has developed and presented this workshop’s approach previously in Morocco, Uganda, Namibia, Ethiopia, and the United States. The high impact research curriculum is also available on MEASURE Evaluation’s Web site.
Following the June workshop, NACA requested that MEASURE Evaluation assist with the organization’s July workshop that was being conducted to help the agency prioritize its research aims after receiving a grant from The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. During these sessions, MEASURE Evaluation helped the agency and implementing partners further prioritize their research and learn how to develop requests for proposals, as well as how to carry out a communication strategy for disseminating research findings, according to Eric Geers, a data demand and use specialist with MEASURE Evaluation.
Dr. James Anenih, head of HIV and AIDS research at NACA, helped facilitate the July workshop. “We are actively applying a lot of the best practices” from the workshops, he said. For example, NACA is using the July training to help prepare proposals for individuals and agencies to help with services to improve the use of antiretroviral therapy among people living with HIV and the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
Geers said that MEASURE Evaluation hopes to conduct other workshops with NACA to help NACA staff develop a strategy on how to involve health practitioners and other parties in the research process. Geers said the research workshops were beneficial because they helped attendees learn how to make their “research findings more relevant and actionable to what they’re doing.”