Under EVIDENT country case studies were set up in Ghana, Benin, South-Africa and Ethiopia:
Benin, University of Abomey-Calavi
The team of FINSA (International Training in Nutrition and Food Science) of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Abomey-Calavi has conducted a case study in Benin within the EVIDENT partnership. In the context of this case study, the FINSA team has been working to document the decision-making process in nutrition in the country and to write a systematic review on a priority question identified by local stakeholders: ‘’Can stunting be reversed after two years of age?’’.
Ghana, University of Ghana
The University of Ghana is working on its case study: “Exclusive breastfeeding duration and child feeding behaviours: A mixed methods systematic review”.
In the context of its case study, the University of Ghana has implemented a mixed methods cross-sectional study that comprised two main approaches:
1) a document review
2) stakeholder engagement.
For the document review part they conducted a search to identify existing relevant nutrition related policy and program development documents and data were extracted. The stakeholder engagement part included two stakeholder engagement meetings as well as key informant interviews with pertinent stakeholders, both representatives of the government and non-government agencies, to obtain further information on priority setting and decision making in nutrition. The final stakeholder engagement was a validation workshop where findings from the key informant interviews were shared with stakeholders for their input. The stakeholders were further engaged to develop a stakeholder influence map for a specific nutrition program as an example for a typical nutrition program in the country.
South Africa, North-West University
NWU is working on its case study “Effective home, family and community based interventions to inform the breastfeeding agenda in South Africa”.
Stakeholder mapping was conducted to identify all relevant stakeholder groups. This mapping was conducted mid-2015. The Government sector was then purposefully chosen for interviews. From the 7 interviews conducted with government officials, the following barriers emerged:
- lack of knowledge translation capacity,
- need for more nutrition specific advocacy,
- limited time,
- poor data to feed into the decision-making cycle,
- matters related to the “science-policy gap”:
- lack of understanding of government priorities from academia side,
- research conducted by academia is not useful for policy making,
- relationship between government and academia is sub-optimal,
- politics trumps science.
As a participant in EVIDENT, the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) shares the common goal of bridging the gap between researchers and policy-makers to better facilitate use of evidence in policy development.
Currently, Ethiopia local EVIDENT team is working with EVIDENT on a case study on nutrition policy path-way in Ethiopia. More than 50 stakeholders are invited for a half day workshop on December 12, 2016 to do nutrition stakeholder mapping using Net-mapping method. Once the stakeholder mapping will be finalized, the study team will conduct key informant interviews and produce the final technical report. They also strengthened the existing national nutrition monitoring, evaluation and research sub-committee by collaborating with the local EVIDENT group.