Landmark Beach Hotel and Conference Centre, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania 30 November - 1 December 2016
The TRAction Project participated in a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) hosted end of project event for the Health Research Program (HaRP) which is USAID’s research to use portfolio. The event, titled “Why Research Matters: The Role of Implementation Research in Improving Health Outcomes for Newborns, Children, and Mothers,” was an opportunity for USAID and partners to share their collective experiences accelerating the development, introduction, and translation of research into effective implementation to reduce maternal, newborn, and child mortality and morbidity in developing countries.
The event featured the work of USAID’s four implementation research and health technology projects that fall under the HaRP 1.0 portfolio: Accelovate implemented by Jhpiego, HealthTech implemented by The Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), Health Research Challenge for Impact implemented by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH), and Translating Research into Action (TRAction) implemented by University Research Co. The event provided an opportunity for the projects to discuss key research finding and share overall project successes, lessons learned from the past six years, and thoughts on the future direction of implementation research.
The event began with a welcome from Elizabeth Fox, Office of Health, Infectious Diseases and Nutrition, USAID followed by an overview of HaRP presented by Neal Brandes, Office of Health, Infectious Diseases, and Nutrition, Bureau for Global Health. Irene Agyepong, Ghana Health Service gave the keynote address.
The event included a directors panel with the project directors from the four projects: Robert Black, JHSPH; Patricia Coffey, PATH; Jim Sherry, URC; and Deepti Tanuky, Jhpiego. Jim Sherry discussed lessons learned from the past six years of supporting implementation research through TRAction. He shared some of the real world challenges of implementation research, such as the importance of investing in partnerships. Also, despite partners’ strong research capabilities, TRAction has learned that at times a great deal of management support is needed for the business aspects of conducting implementation research.
TRAction featured its work on Respectful Maternity Care and discussed how TRAction studies provided evidence of disrespect and abuse of women during facility-based childbirth and the role that advocacy played in creating a demand for more evidence. TRAction Technical Advisor Emily Peca was joined by Kate Ramsey, Management Sciences for Health; Elena Ateva, the White Ribbon Alliance; Kathleen Hill, Jhpiego; and Raz Stevenson, USAID.
Kerri-Ann Jones, Senior Science Policy Advisor with TRAction, moderated a session on “Local Engagement and Capacity Building While Addressing Global Research Challenges” which included international colleagues: Yoswa Dambisya, East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA) Health Community (Tanzania); Japhet Killewo, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (Tanzania); Irene Agyepong, Ghana Health Service (Ghana); and Mahbub Elahi Chowdhury, icddr,b (Bangladesh). The session shared experiences on building local capacity to conduct implementation research and the needs for flexibility to account for varying contexts.
The event was held at the U.S. Institute for Peace in Washington, DC and included approximately 115 guests from USAID, the four implementing organizations, international partners. More information about the HaRP portfolio can be found here: https://www.harpnet.org/about-harp.