By 2030, 60% of the world is projected to live in cities and urban areas. Within Sub-Saharan Africa, more than half (56%) of urban populations live in slums, compared to an average of 29% across developing regions. A failure to address the consequences of urbanization for the most vulnerable will sustain excess death, disability, and poor quality of life. It is critical to foster collaboration among researchers, implementers, advocates, community members, and policy makers within and beyond national contexts to inform rapid change.
HEARD has supported research on issues of nutrition and water, sanitation, hygiene (WASH) in poor urban areas in East Africa. Activities include: 1. Establishment of an inclusive collaboration in East Africa to identify urban health priorities and studies; 2. Leveraging of research studies to advance the urban nutrition and WASH agenda in the region; 3. Execution of an Implementation Science (IS) approach that included a stakeholder-engaged study design with wide utility; 4. Share process results and findings; 5. Enable implementation science advocacy and capacity development among partners.
Learn more about the Implementation Science Collaboration for Urban Health in East Africa below:
The Applied Implementation Science (IS) Strategy
The implementation science approach requires deliberate engagement of multiple actors representing an extensive array of skill sets and experiences to apply evidence to the most pressing challenges facing health policy and program implementation. Therefore, our larger set of partners includes sub-regional health bodies, policy advocacy groups, civil society-based evidence advocates, implementation support organizations, research organizations, and academic institutions. With support from the “Research Systems Integrator” (e.g. URC) partnerships can more seamlessly move across the continuum from priority identification to use of evidence to inform change. We aim to use evidence as a vehicle for action and change. See below for a depiction of the parallel processes that enable the research-to-use pathway in the case of our most recent urban health work in East Africa.