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Abt Associates staff actively contributed to the knowledge sharing and exchange by giving several presentations and hosting a satellite session at the Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research, held in Cape Town, South Africa from Sept. 29 to Oct. 3. The conference focused on the science and practice of people-centered health systems.

Elaine Baruwa, Abt Associates Senior Associate, moderated a satellite session, The Bridge from Research to Action, on Sept. 29. The event, co-hosted by Abt and the Translating Evidence to Action thematic working group, focused on effective evidence to action strategies and challenges that have arisen between researches and policymakers. Baruwa was joined in a lively discussion by representatives from the University of Zambia, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, the Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis in Canada, and Abt Associates Malawi.

“Evidence is only valuable when we can convert it into action by implementers,” Baruwa said. “In order to do this, it’s critical for researchers to work with implementers from the outset.”

A range of Abt International Health staff participated in the conference, including representatives of projects such as the: Also attending the event was Abt President and CEO Kathleen Flanagan and International Health Division Vice President Diana Silimperi, M.D.

Abt’s oral presentations examined subjects ranging from a microinsurance scheme in Nigeria to community-based health planning in Zambia. 

Elijah Sinyinza, ZISSP Deputy Chief of Party, expressed a glass-half-full perspective on the opportunities available to improve health systems.

“The challenge when dealing with health systems is that people tend to focus on looking for challenges and not enablers or opportunities,” Sinyinza said.

Read a preview and a summary of HFG’s participation in the Global Symposium.

Panelists in Abt Associates’ satellite session, the Bridge from Research to Action, held Sept. 29, emphasized the need to gather good evidence of a problem – including local evidence – and to consider possible political consequences of policy decisions.

Seated (L-R) are Dr. Bellington Vwalika, head of obstetrics/gynecology at the University of Zambia Teaching Hospital and Takondwa Mwase of Abt Associates Malawi

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Satellite Session

The Bridge from Research to Action
Monday, September 29

Inaugural event of the Health Systems Global Thematic Working Group on Translating Evidence to Action

Moderator: Dr. Elaine Baruwa, Senior Associate, Abt Associates
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