Providing the Information Necessary to Address Public Health Challenges

For Immediate Release

Monday, April 25, 2016
Sharon Kellman Yett
(+233) 30 274 1599

Lomé, Togo – The United States Government, in collaboration with the Government of Togo, is boosting the capacity of researchers from six countries to generate and share the information needed by decision makers to address public health issues in West Africa. Participants from Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Mauritania will take part in a regional workshop in Lomé, Togo, from April 25-29, 2016, on the theme “Fundamentals of Operations Research,” organized by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) regional evaluation and research project, Evidence for Development.

West Africa has some of the world’s worst health statistics. The sub-region has the world’s highest maternal and child mortality rates and the lowest contraceptive prevalence rates.  While HIV/AIDS is not a key health challenge in this sub-region, the low HIV prevalence in general populations masks the high rates among marginalized groups. Together, these poor health indicators have a significant negative impact on economic growth.  In addition, there is a dearth of current and user-friendly information available to decision makers to determine which intervention models are best suited to overcome particular public health challenges and to achieve health goals.

This workshop is part of USAID’s approach to strengthen the capacity of local research and evaluation entities in study design, implementation and results dissemination. The interactive workshop is designed to strengthen participant’s skills in leading research and project evaluation studies, as well as financial management and effective communication.

At the workshop’s opening ceremony, Dana Banks, U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission to Togo, signed agreements to recognize the partnership between USAID and two Togolese organizations that USAID’s Evidence for Development will work with in Togo: Cabinet d'Expertise en développement Economique et Social en Afrique (CEDES-Afrique), and Cabinet d'Expertise en Recherche Actions (CERA). “These organizations have joined our network of partners in Togo, as we work alongside the Government of Togo, to End Preventable Maternal and Child Deaths and to realize an AIDS-Free Generation,” stated Banks.

The overall objective of Evidence for Development is to increase the availability of evidence in health interventions for improved resource allocation, policy advocacy, and program planning. The project addresses critical gaps in the research and evidence for planning and implementation of family planning, HIV/AIDS and other health activities in West Africa.