Evaluation of Research Networks for Health Innovation in Sub-Saharan Africa

Project 7 Oct 2018

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is working with the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) to implement the ‘Research Networks for Health Innovations in sub-Saharan Africa’ programme. This programme aims to improve the understanding of etiology and epidemiology as well as enhancing diagnosis and treatment for neglected and poverty-related diseases within five research networks.

As part of the programme, the Centre for Capacity Research and partners Capacity Development International are conducting an evaluation to track whether the Research Networks programme meets its objectives, with a focus on the process of collaboration between German and southern partners and opportunities for individual and institutional learning. As the programme will focus on assessing the work of the individual networks that contributed to the programme goals overall, an element of the evaluation will also look at the management of the programme and relationship between the networks and funders. It is hoped that the evaluation will also look beyond the expected outputs and outcomes for both positive and negative unintended outcomes and impacts.

Centre for Capacity Research Objectives

Centre for Capacity Research evaluation team will conduct in-depth interviews, participative workshops and design an online platform to promote, develop and embed learning. Reports at baseline, endline and midline will seek to draw out learning that can be utilised across all network partners and future programmes and one-page summaries will be provided (with specific feedback for the institutions that are visited during the data collection) to enable more specific recommendations or learning points to be highlighted. The evaluation will seek to verify that the intended outcomes have been achieved and how likely the identified impact is. The evaluation will be predominantly goals-based but will also capture unintended consequences and unexpected pathways of change. The evaluation will capture information to understand “What works, for whom, in what respects, to what extent, in what contexts, and how?”.

In addition, research questions will consider:

• To what extent has the implementation of the programme shown relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact (or potential for impact) and sustainability?

• To what extent have the network goals and milestones as stipulated in the partners’ full programme proposals and individual concepts been met and have all contributors fulfilled their obligations as set out in their contractual agreements?

• What can we learn about how programme, network and institutional structures, processes and changes (as well as their interdependencies) either enable or form barriers to fulfilling the objective of the programme?

• What can we learn about the funding design that can inform future funding or initiatives?