Planning Research Uptake in Kenya
Delivering RIU training to the GLUK Safe Start team and other members of staff.
In late October, Emily Balls (SHARE’s Monitoring and Evaluation Officer) and I travelled to Kisumu, Kenya to meet SHARE’s partner, the Great Lakes University of Kisumu (GLUK). We had a very productive few days working with the project team on Research into Use (RIU) and outcome mapping activities.
But first, a little about the research. GLUK’s Phase II project is called Safe Start, and focuses on preventing enteric infections among young children in informal settlements in Kisumu. The team are currently in the formative stage of research, and aim to understand current caregiving practices and infant exposures, as well as the practices of Community Health Volunteers. This first phase of the research will help inform a cluster randomised controlled trial, where children will be enrolled at 3 months and followed until 18 months in two informal neighbourhoods (with one receiving the intervention and one acting as a control). Our infographic also gives a good overview of the study.
We arrived at GLUK’s Milimani Campus on a Monday morning, and were greeted by Dr Jane Mumma, who leads the Safe Start trial. We got stuck straight in with a discussion on quarterly reporting, which gave us a good understanding of the current progress of the project, as well as plans going forward for the next quarter. After a mid-morning break of tea and mandazi (a delicious doughnut, also known as a Swahili bun), we continued with a productive afternoon of outcome mapping and research uptake planning. It was great to learn about the work GLUK has been doing with local NGOs and the county government to raise awareness about food hygiene and WASH.
Over the next few days, we met and worked with many members of the GLUK safe start team. The group seemed particularly interested in learning more about RIU, and I gave a presentation on topics including writing policy briefs, blogging and social media. With many members of the team keen to start blogging, I hope we will feature more blogs by them in the coming months!
For me, meeting and working with the Safe Start team was the highlight of our trip. We were able to better understand the local context, understand how this study fits into the broader context of GLUK and Kisumu, and even visit the main campus, which is based slightly outside the main town. We also experienced a typical Kenyan lunch of fried Tilapia, which was delicious! We look forward to return again to Kenya and we continue to work closely with our colleagues at GLUK.