With finite resources and ever-increasing research waste (see Lancet series on increasing value, reducing waste; Lancet 201′; 38″: 166-75) there in an urgent need to prioritise research agendas, especially in resources-limited settings. In 2012, the SUNRAY project (www.sunrayafrica.co.z) found that while a great research was published, there was a substantial amount of duplication in research effort and a focus on treatment rather than on preventive action. Furthermore, the research portfolio was driven by donors rather than the needs and of the local and stakeholders.

The Evidence-informed Decision-making in Nutrition and Health (EVIDENT) partnership is an international hub created to strengthen capacities to address the disparity between research and local needs in nutrition  and health in Africa.  This will be achieved by empowering stakeholders to identify and prioritise their key nutrition and health concerns and, providing them with a platform where these can be addressed. These needs are addressed by systematically reviewing and appraising the evidence and contextualizing it using additional cultural and economic data.  This process ensures societal relevance so that decision-makers can make recommendations for policies adapted to their local context. This has a two-fold benefit in that local needs are met without the unnecessary duplication of research.

Unlike other initiatives, EVIDENT focuses on nutrition. Nutrition is fundamental as it plays a substantial role in an individual’s overall health throughout the life cycle. It encompasses all issues that are at the forefront of global nutrition and health policy: stunting, underweight, maternal and child health, micronutrient deficiencies, obesity and non-communicable diseases (e.g. heart disease, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, etc.).



EVIDENT aims to increase impact by strengthening this evidence-policy pathway by translating local needs into recommendations that are specific, actionable, and informed by the best available evidence, while being adapted to the aligned priorities of stakeholders. Its three main pillars anchored at country level (including private sector, public, civil society) along this pathway are i) Problem-oriented and EIDM, ii) capacity strengthening and leadership and iii) horizontal collaboration within and across partner countries. Figure 1 presents the overall conceptual framework of EVIDENT.

Figure 1


To bridge the gap between researchers and decision-makers by identifying the information needs in nutrition and health and translating evidence into concrete recommendations actionable by responsible bodies, through collaborations amongst African researchers and decision-makers and with support from global experts.


  • To be timely in transparently addressing priority questions set by decision-makers in partner countries
  • To enhance the capacity of researchers in knowledge management and knowledge translation by providing high quality methodological training and support
  • To strengthen locally accountable bodies in their ability to both articulate their research needs and appropriately utilise evidence

Expected Outputs

  • Generate guidelines and tools that can be used for the evidence-informed decision-making process
  • Strengthen the capacity of researchers in being able to engage and advocate for evidence-informed country-specific nutrition policy
  • Set up and strengthen an African network for evidence-based decision-making and policy-driven nutrition research that addresses country-specific, as well as continental and global, nutrition problems


We are an extensive network of North-South partners with expertise in knowledge management, research and health economics. Our partners include:


Ethiopian Institute of Public Health, Ethiopia 

    • Tesfaye Hailu BEKELE, Associate Researcher

Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM), Belgium (Coordination Body)

    • Roos VERTRAETEN, Researcher
    • Anaïs Van de Walle, Researcher
    • Monique CEULEMANS, Administration


    • Pankti MEHTA, Consultant

National School of Public Health, Morocco  

    • Zakaria BELRHITI, Researcher

NICE International, UK

    • Kalipso CHALKIDOU, Director
    • Francis RUIZ, Senior Advisor

North-west University, South Africa

    • Johann JERLING, Director
    • Biance SWANEPOEL, PhD Student
    • Christine TALJAARD, Post-doc Researcher
    • Chantell WITTEN, Senior Lecturer

University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin

    • Eunice NAGO KOUKOUBOU, Lecturer & Researcher
    • Waliou AMOUSSA HOUNKPATIN, Professor & Researcher of Nutrition and Food Sciences

University of Ghana, Ghana 

    • Richmond ARYEETEY, Lecturer
    • Esi COLECRAFT, Lecturer

University of Ghent, Belgium 

    • Patrick KOLSTEREN, Head Laboratory in Department of Food Science and Food Safety
    • Carl LACHAT, Professor in Department of Food Science and Food Safety

University of Sheffield, UK

    • Andrew BOOTH, Reader in Evidence Based Information Practice & Director of Information
    • Michelle HOLDSWORTH, Professor of Public Health
    • Robert Akparibo, University Teacher in Public Health, ScHARR

Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania 

    • Joyce KINABO, Professor of Human Nutrition

Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), The Netherlands

    • Stella VAN BEERS, Research Coordinator Epidemiology

Scientific Committee

EVIDENT is supported by a number of external scientific experts in knowledge management and health technology assessment.


Charlotte Maxeke Research Consortium (CMeRC), South Africa

    • Debjani MUELLER, Researcher

Micronutrient Initiative (MI), Canada

    • Luz Maria DE-REGIL, Director of Research and Evaluation

KCE – Federal Knowledge Centre, Belgium

    • Irina CLEEMPUT, Senior Economist
    • Jo ROBAYS, Epidemiologist
    • Dominique ROBERFROID, Medical Expert

Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program (HITAP), Thailand

    • Yot TEERAWATTANANON, Program Leader

International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA), Canada

    • Irina CLEEMPUT, Board Director
    • Debjani MUELLER, Board Director