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Evidence-informed decision making for nutrition: African experiences and way forward.

Authors
  • Aryeetey, Richmond1
  • Holdsworth, Michelle2
  • Taljaard, Christine3
  • Hounkpatin, Waliou Amoussa4
  • Colecraft, Esi5
  • Lachat, Carl6
  • Nago, Eunice4
  • Hailu, Tesfaye7
  • Kolsteren, Patrick6
  • Verstraeten, Roos8
  • 1 School of Public Health,University of Ghana,Accra,Ghana. , (Ghana)
  • 2 School of Health and Related Sciences,University of Sheffield,S1 4DA,UK.
  • 3 North-West University,Centre of Excellence for Nutrition,Potchefstroom Campus,South Africa. , (South Africa)
  • 4 Faculty of Agricultural Sciences,University of Abomey-Calavi,Benin. , (Benin)
  • 5 Nutrition and Food Science Department,University of Ghana,Accra,Ghana. , (Ghana)
  • 6 Department of Food Safety and Food Quality,Ghent University,Belgium. , (Belgium)
  • 7 Ethiopian Public Health Institute,Addis Ababa,Ethiopia. , (Ethiopia)
  • 8 Nutrition and Child Health Unit,Institute of Tropical Medicine,Antwerp,Belgium. , (Belgium)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Proceedings of The Nutrition Society
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Publication Date
Nov 01, 2017
Volume
76
Issue
4
Pages
589–596
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1017/S0029665117001082
PMID: 28803565
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Although substantial amount of nutrition research is conducted in Africa, the research agenda is mainly donor-driven. There is a clear need for a revised research agenda in Africa which is both driven by and responding to local priorities. The present paper summarises proceedings of a symposium on how evidence can guide decision makers towards context-appropriate priorities and decisions in nutrition. The paper focuses on lessons learnt from case studies by the Evidence Informed Decision Making in Nutrition and Health Network implemented between 2015 and 2016 in Benin, Ghana and South Africa. Activities within these countries were organised around problem-oriented evidence-informed decision-making (EIDM), capacity strengthening and leadership and horizontal collaboration. Using a combination of desk-reviews, stakeholder influence-mapping, semi-structured interviews and convening platforms, these country-level studies demonstrated strong interest for partnership between researchers and decision makers, and use of research evidence for prioritisation and decision making in nutrition. Identified capacity gaps were addressed through training workshops on EIDM, systematic reviews, cost-benefit evaluations and evidence contextualisation. Investing in knowledge partnerships and development of capacity and leadership are key to drive appropriate use of evidence in nutrition policy and programming in Africa.

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