There is a need for cultivating the culture of turning to research evidence while making policy decisions at the MCH Directorate, MOH. Staff at the Directorate is very busy taking care of the routine activities of organizing and implementing training, supervision and mentoring activities, mobilizing resources, monitoring activities, and report writing. With this tight schedule, the staff have little time to look for and read through all relevant publications and research reports out there. Hence, the staff hugely benefits from a regular scientific forum where research evidence relevant to their program activities are presented by experts within and outside the Directorate.
The ‘Agelgil Session’ idea was suggested by Fenot - Harvard School of Public Health team to Dr. Ephrem Tekle (Director of the Directorate by then). The Director embraced the idea and agreed with the initiation of the event right away. The first ‘Agelgil’ session was held on April 4, 2018.
- To keep the staff of the Directorate informed about upcoming research evidence relevant to maternal, neonatal, child, adolescent, and reproductive health and nutrition-related issues.
- To initiate the staff of the Directorate to search and use up-to-date national, regional, and global research evidence while making decisions in the design and implementation of RMNCAH/N initiatives in the country.
- To inform policy and guideline development at the Directorate with up to date contextualized research evidence generated by stakeholders.
How are the sessions organized?
The sessions happen at least once every month (usually the 3rd week of the month) on Wednesdays at 11 am and for about 60-90 minutes. The researcher does a presentation of about 25 minutes with a focus on key findings and recommendations for action. A question and answer session of about an hour follow the presentation. The ‘Agelgils’ (lunch boxes) are provided at the end of the session to everyone who attended. The cost of the ‘Agelgils’ and water is being covered by the Fenot Project of the Harvard School of Public Health/School of Population and Public Health of UBC.