Catalysing leadership to improve health outcomes for women, adolescents, and children in West Africa

This project aims to strengthen transformative leadership capacities in West Africa to encourage improved institutional and government use of health research and evidence in decision-making. Rather than focus only on individual leadership training, the project addresses leadership capacity at the individual, organizational, and system levels. This is based on the recognition that no individual alone can successfully tackle complex and challenging health problems.

A comprehensive and innovative learning-by-doing program comprising face-to-face professional schools, on-the-ground mentoring, and small grants will support multi-sectoral teams in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Niger, and Sierra Leone. The teams representing ministries of health, civil society, research, and media organizations will be able to assess with communities the priority concerns about health service delivery and to convene follow-up multi-stakeholder dialogues to address identified gaps.

Civil society organizations will be able to use digital and social media platforms to further mobilize and leverage community support for advocacy around these issues. The media organizations, through a network of trained journalists, will be able to engage policymakers and hold them accountable regarding the use of information for policy development and implementation. Overall, the participating ministries of health will be able to lead the organization of multi-stakeholder policy dialogues, while strengthened research services within the ministries will be able to better link with researchers and stakeholders in academia and civil society.

As part of a scaling strategy, the West African Health Organization will ensure regional validation and dissemination of lessons across the member states of the Economic Community of West African States. A collaboration of eight leading West African Francophone, Anglophone and regional research, advocacy, and policy institutions are building on previous joint efforts to develop and implement the program. This will help to consolidate and strengthen strategic working partnerships across the five countries.

Project ID

108937

Project status

Active

Duration

36 months

IDRC Officer

Marie-Gloriose Ingabire

Total funding

CA$ 750,000

Countries

Burkina Faso, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Niger, Sierra Leone

Program

Maternal and Child Health

Project Leader

Irene Agyepong

Institution

Ghana Health Service

Institution Country

Ghana

Project Leader

Issiaka Sombie

Institution

Organisation Ouest Africaine de la Santé

Institution Country

Burkina Faso

Institution Website

http://wahooas.org

Project Leader

Vicky Okine

Institution

Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights

Institution Country

Ghana

Institution Website

http://www.arhr.org.gh