The African Academy of Sciences (The AAS) in collaboration with the UK Academy of Medical Sciences previously brought together experts to identify policy priorities to transform maternal and child health in sub-Saharan Africa. To follow up on the findings of those discussions, the June 2019 MNCH Meeting will convene key leaders and dedicated experts in the field to develop and participate in the process for research priority setting for MNH, discuss MNH research leadership in Africa, explore opportunities for conversion of research to policy. Your perspectives would be immensely valuable to the conversation. This year’s meeting is held in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
As currently envisioned, the MNH Meeting will focus on these areas:
· Be part of the MNCH research priority setting activities for 2019
o To familiarise the meeting with the Child Health Nutrition Research Initiative (CHNRI), an international foundation with the vision to improve child health and nutrition of children in low-and-middle income countries through research that informs health policy and practice, methodology for research priority setting.
o To update the meeting on the current status of the MNH 2019 CHNRI process.
o The meeting will participate in research priority setting activities, primarily to advice on the weighting for the proposed scoring criteria for the ongoing CHNRI MNH process. The long list of research priorities is currently being collected / sourced from peer experts. Meeting participants will be encouraged to be ambassadors for the process in their practice environments.
· Be part of a workshop to discuss the development of research leadership for MNH in Africa. The meeting will;
o Discuss current capacity to deliver on any agreed research priorities for MNH.
o Discuss the enablers and derailers of undertaking research of any identified priorities.
o Formulate some way forward including identifying means of improving coordination / funding of research on the continent.
· Be part of a research to policy workshop where participants will discuss ways and means of building dialogue between MNH researcher/practitioners and policymakers. The workshop will;
o Identify key stakeholders of MNH researchers and propose engagement tools.
o Diagnose areas of complexity and uncertainty and pinpoint root causes.
o Develop realistic outcomes and a possible theory of change according to existing or reachable capacity and resources.
The African Academy of Sciences has convened the meeting with discussions driven a steering committee Chaired by Professor Charles Mgone. The AAS is most grateful to the committee for their work.