Amani Idfonce from CARE Tanazania talks about how reinforcing the whole health system--especially with community health workers--makes it possible to get an even better COVID response than focusing on the disease alone would have done. How did they manage it? They worked on aligning with existing priorities, thinking about infectious diseases more broadly, and remembered to keep regular services running. Read more about the project here.
Study, analyze, adjust quickly: the Bihar Technical Support Program’s concurrent measurement and learning approach
Dr. Tanmay Mahapatra and Dr. Shridhar Srikantiah from CARE India’s Bihar Technical Support Program explain how they use data to catch failures and make adjustments in real time with their Concurrent Measurement and Learning approach. Learn more at: bihar.care.org
Alfred Makavore, a key responder in CARE's Ebola response in Sierra Leone in 2014-2015, share's lessons about how to improve our COVID-19 response. "At first, we thought it was just a clinical problem, and we treated it like that." Alfred encourages teams to think beyond a clinical response, to understand what communities are facing, and to build trust. "We have to push aside the panic." Engaging governments, setting up local coordination, and trusting field teams to make decisions are some of his key recommendations.
Answering Practical Questions Instead of Academic Ones: How to design research that makes more sustainable programming
Learning to be less dogmatic about answering the most important academic questions, but instead focus on the practical questions that would allow project teams to "innovate and push" around creating sustainable programs for WASH in schools. Matt Freeman from Emory University and Peter Lochery from CARE talk about what they learned trying to create research that moved programs forward, and allowed us to get better at the work--even when it wouldn't contribute to publications in prestigious journals. They talk about 13 years of research partnership in the SWASH+ project--and how lots of smaller, practical studies with rigorous methods were more useful than one big RCT.
Mike Mukirane from Uganda's West Nile team talks about an attempt to recruit and pay midwives for a CARE project through the local government system. Because we didn't know enough to set it up well, the midwives went for 6 months without getting paid, "working tooth and nail" the whole time. Learning more from other partners' experience, thinking more carefully about contract requirements, and understanding implications of our budgeting choices are all recommendations for how to avoid the problem.