The third result area of the EU-SIGN project is to improve information and knowledge generation for Routine Immunisation, which includes supporting Operations Research (OR) to inform and drive policy, planning and programme implementation.
EU-SIGN supported a meeting in Lagos from 28-29 October 2015 to define the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) research priorities and harmonise all research efforts of the different technical departments of the NPHCDA under the Operations Research (OR) Unit of the Department of Planning Research and Statistics (DPRS).
The meeting was presided over by Dr. Urua (Head of OR of NPHCDA) and participants included Representatives from the ED/CEO of NPHCDA, SWZ Coordinator, Dr. Olayinka Oladimeji, NPHCDA Staff, representative of Permanent Secretary (PS) LSPHCDB, Dr. F. O. Sanni, DPRS (LSMoH) and EU-SIGN TA team (Team Leader and Immunisation Expert).
To manage the different OR studies and to avoid duplication of efforts and research, an Operational Research Advisory Group (ORAG) was inaugurated at the meeting, with the NPHCDA taking a critical leadership role to shape a OR strategy. This earlier inauguration of ORAG and outcome of this meeting is one of the biggest legacies of the EU-SIGN project.
Other major achievements resulting from this meeting include:
- The OR Research Unit of NPHCDA has been empowered as the centre for co-coordinating all research in NPHCDA to avoid duplication and to improve efficient use of resources.
- The ORAG agreed to kick-start research proposal development with key timelines and responsible persons/bodies.
- EU-SIGN strategic objective in contributing to positioning NPHCDA for OR was clearly outlined.
- A draft work plan for OR was developed by the OR Unit of DPRS of the NPHCDA pursuance of the resolutions reached during the Lagos meeting.
- The DPRS should continue to pursue the NPHCDA research agenda as the leading agency in public health research.
- NPHCDA should create a special fund for research purposes.
- All partners should discourage segmentation of research through avoidance of vertical approach.
- All stakeholders, especially ORAG members should support the nascent body (ORAG) to provide the strategic direction for the NPHCDA research agenda.