University collaboration for better health in Ethiopia - VLIR-UOS

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Format for a NETWORK programme application
– Concept note South (Identification phase)
Call Network University Cooperation (NETWORK) 2015
GENERAL INFORMATION
Max. 3 pages
Programme data
Country and region of the programme
Ethiopia, Africa
Programme title (linked to strategic/thematic focus area)
University collaboration for better health in Ethiopia (UCBHE)
Programme Summary (Focus of proposed strategic area(s)))
The network program is a collaboration of four public universities in Ethiopia coordinated by Jimma University. The network, which is
funded by VLIR, closely collaborates with Flemish universities in planning and implementation of the program. The program uses graduate
program and collaborative research as entry points to capacity building of partner universities and as routes to contribute to higher
education and health sectors development in the country. The program leverages the organizational, human and infrastructural capacities
that have been created by the IUC program and taps into institutional and professional networks that have been developed over the last 10
years.
There are two thematic and one transversal projects in the program, i.e., infectious diseases, human nutrition, and statistics and ICT
development. The infectious diseases project takes one-health approach and focuses on understanding biological underpinnings of
infectious diseases in Ethiopian context and development of new tools to combat sources and consequences of these diseases. The
human nutrition project adopts an innovative and multi-sectoral angle of ‘nutrition sensitive agriculture’ and experiments with optimization of
indigenous food to improve access to essential nutrients by vulnerable groups. Finally, the transversal projects applies statistical and ICT
capabilities to support the thematic researches and institutional capacities of the partner universities.
Project duration (pre-partner agreement)
Pre-partner program is expected to start at end of November, 2015 and end at the end of December, 2016. The one-year
program includes key milestones like appraisal and matchmaking, program formulation, partner program submission and
final decision by VLIR.
Expected date of project start (2 stages)
The five year partner program will be launched at the beginning of January, 2017 and ends at end of December, 2021
Applying local university (institution and proposed local coordinator)
Name, faculty, department and unit
Jimma University
College of Public Health and Medical Sciences
Website
www.ju.edu.et
Local coordinator
(Name, address, phone, e-mail address, function)
Kora Tushune
Vice President, Jimma University
Associate Professor
College of Public Health and Medical Sciences
Department of Health Economics and Policy
Local Coordinator of Jimma University IUC Programme
Tel: +251 911 24 19 16
Fax: +251 471 11 14 57
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e-mail: [email protected]/[email protected]
Name(s) of the authority of the local institute (Rector,
Vice-Rector)
Fikre Lemessa (PhD)
President, Jimma University
Tel: +251 917 55 05 09
E-mail: [email protected]
Statute of the institute (private or public)
Council of Ministers Regulation No. 63/1999
Other partner university 1 (institution and proposed local focal point)
Name, faculty, department and unit
Hawassa University
Website
www.hu.edu.et
Local coordinator
(Name, address, phone, e-mail address, function)
Eskindir Loha (PhD)
Associate Professor od Public Health
Hawassa University
Tel: +251 913 23 32 94
e-mail: [email protected]
Name(s) of the authority of the local institute (Rector,
Vice-Rector)
Fikre Desalegn (Prof)
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Tel: +251 462 20 96 76
E-mail. [email protected]
Statute of the institute (private or public)
Public university
Other partner university 2 (institution and proposed local focal point)
Name, faculty, department and unit
College of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture
(AAU CVMA), Addis Abeba University
www.aau.edu.et/cvma
Website
www.aau.edu.et/cvma
Local coordinator
(Name, address, phone, e-mail address, function)
Dr. Reta Duguma
Associate Professor of Veterinary Epidemiology
Addis Ababa University College of Veterinary Medicine and
Agriculture
Tel: +251 911 88 38 09
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]
Name(s) of the authority of the local institute (Rector,
Vice-Rector)
Dr. Dinka Ayana,
Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture
Statute of the institute (private or public)
Public University
Other partner university 3 (institution and proposed local focal point) (if more than 3 partner universities, please include
below)
Name, faculty, department and unit
Ambo University
Website
www.au.edu.et
Local coordinator
(Name, address, phone, e-mail address, function)
Bizunesh Mideksa (PhD)
Assistant Professor of Veterinary Medicine
College of Agriculture and Veterinary Science of Ambo University, P.O.Box 19,
Phone: +251-911-832048;
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Email: [email protected]
Name(s) of the authority of the local institute (Rector,
Vice-Rector)
Lakew Wondimu (PhD)
Vice President for Academic and Research Affairs
Ambo University
Phone: +251 911 24 62 56 or +251 (0)112365442
e-mail: [email protected]
Statute of the institute (private or public)
Public university
Signature of the proposed local coordinator
Signature of the local rector
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PROGRAMME DESCRIPTION
1. Description of the programme
(max. 8 pages)
1.1.
Objectives of the programme
Academic / developmental objectives
Overall academic objectives
1.
2.
To enhance the quality and national impact of graduate education and researches undertaken by
Jimma University and its local partner universities in priority thematic area of common interest
through long-term engagement in university network collaboration aimed at capacity building and
capacity sharing among local network members in collaboration with Flemish partner universities,
with JU serving as a hub to leverage and multiply previous successes, strengths and achievements
of its IUC program.
To contribute to the strengthening of the higher education sector of the country in the areas of
graduate program expansion, faculty development, enhancement of research skills, increasing
quality and relevance of scientific outputs, and development of research infrastructure by promoting
partnership among local partner universities and collaborating Flemish institutions.
Ethiopian higher education is undergoing a rapid growth and expansion. However, the higher education
institutions are facing a number of challenges including ensuring quality of education, problem of relevance
and quality of researches, chronic shortage of faculty, and limited infrastructure which can undermine the
contribution of the institutions to socio-economic development of the country [Higher education strategic
plan, 2014].These challenges are compounded by lack of collaboration among the higher education
institutions to collectively confront these challenges in a way that promote synergy and complementarities.
The proposed network strengthens the capacity of partner universities to address current and emerging
challenges by creating opportunity for human capacity building through cooperation on curriculum
development and launching of joint PhD and masters programs, engaging in collaborative researches on
priority issues of national importance, and pooling and sharing of scarce resources—human, financial and
physical---for better synergy and impact. Together, they can also catalyze research-driven policy discourse
that can influence national policy for better health service and improved health status of the population. The
institutional and human capacity developed by the IUC program of JU is used to support successful
implementation of the network collaboration.
Overall development objectives
1.
To enhance the scientific and human capacity of the country to respond to challenges of infectious
diseases and nutritional disorders through thematic researches and generation of scientific
evidences for effective policy and improved service delivery.
2. To reduce burden of infectious diseases and nutritional disorders through effective and evidencebased prevention, treatment, and control policies and strategies contributing to improved health
status and quality of life of the population
Jimma University has a strong research infrastructure developed for research and education in
infectious diseases, nutrition and agronomy. The size of intellectual capital and scientific outputs in
infectious diseases including malaria, neglected tropical diseases and zoonotic diseases are
substantial. While the impact of its scientific outputs has already been palpable, the network
collaboration proposed in this submission will scale up this capability and enables the University and its
partners to undertake quality researches that target priority infectious diseases and nutritional problems
of national importance. The partner universities will also develop the capacity to respond to health
needs of their respective region and local communities. Together, the network members can now
strongly advocate for favourable policy in prevention and management of these health problems by
generating strong evidences that influence the policy and practice. The network organizes
dissemination workshops and prepares policy briefs for policy makers, program managers, service
providers and the community at large to directly impact service delivery and health status of the
population.
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1.2.
Proposed main theme and subthemes (=projects) of the Network
Cooperation in the field of identified strategic themes
Theme: Health; Title: University collaboration for better health in Ethiopia (UCBHE)
Project 1: Enhancing infectious diseases education and research in Ethiopia
Project 2: Better child health and growth through nutrition sensitive agriculture
Project 3: Transversal: statistics and information management (ICT and library,)
1.3.
Link with the VLIR-UOS country strategy
Description of the link with the VLIR-UOS country specific strategic guidelines that have been
elaborated for the country concerned. (see background documents)
The network program has important contributions and addresses key societal challenges in higher education
and health sectors of the country. Ethiopian higher education is expanding at an astounding pace. However,
the rate of expansion is not coping with increasing demand for higher education. Ensuring quality of
education, availing qualified faculty, creating teaching and research infrastructure, and guaranteeing the
quality and relevance of research outputs remain chronic problems of the sector in the face of the
unprecedented expansion. In the second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II: 2016-2020) the country
has a plan to establish 11 more public universities, increase undergraduate enrolment in public universities
from current 387685 to 600,000, increase graduate program enrolment from current 33882 to 63000.
Gender is an issue in the sector: on 32% of undergraduate and 19% of postgraduate enrolment are female
students. The network program is expected to contribute to this national effort by way of establishing joint
PhD programs, strengthening research skills and infrastructure, and establishing network of universities to
share capacity and resources, all of which will translate into more graduate intake, better quality research
and better dissemination for national impact.
In the health sector, Ethiopia has gained grounds in many areas including attainment of majority of health
related MDGs. In a number of areas, hpto be a good health status. The maternal, infant and under-five
mortality rate is 199/100000, 19/1000 and 30/1000 respectively, and delivery attended by skilled worker is
only 41%. There are ambitious targets for the health sector in the second GTP including reducing maternal
mortality to 199, under five mortality to 30, infant mortality to 19, and raising life expectancy to 69 years
(GTP II, 2015). Specific areas of health service targeted by the network program are priority problems of the
sector. Let us take few statistics to substantiate the observation.
Malnutrition is a public health problem in the country. According to 2011 and 2014 DHS, acute malnutrition
contributes to over 50% of child death in Ethiopia; 40% of under five children are stunted; 10% of the under
five children are wasted and 3% of them severely; . Therefore Ethiopia is identified as one of ‘Scaling Up
Nutrition’ (SUN) countries by WHO. In the network program nutrition issue is taken as an intersectoral
issue with agriculture sector being a key partner through ‘nutrition sensitive agriculture’ approach. The latter
recognizes that agriculture should go beyond production but also be involved in ensuring access and intake
of essential nutrients by vulnerable groups. Through IUC program JU has started MSc and joint PhD
programs in nutrition since 2014. The network program will engage in human capacity building of the partner
universities and promotion of national nutrition research agenda and platform to inform policy and improve
effectiveness of nutritional interventions.
Infectious diseases is another important area of focus for the network program. Infectious diseases such as
malaria, HIV/AIDS, TB and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are major causes of morbidity and mortality in Ethiopia.
Fifty two million (68%) of the country’s population live in malaria endemic areas; although recently declining, there
were more than 10million annual clinical cases of malaria in the country in 2006. Prevention and control efforts have
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become more complicated and challenging due to emerging global and national phenomena including climate and
ecological changes, water resources management activities, and resistance of the parasites to drugs and insecticides.
There are a number of issues that need investigation for better understanding and generation of evidence for
policy. Little has been done in Ethiopian on key aspects of infectious diseases. Information used in formulation
of policies and strategies come from studies done elsewhere in the world. Jimma University, the hub university for
the network collaboration, is located at the center of NTD endemic region of Ethiopia. Many of the NTDs
including malaria, onchocerciasis, Soil transmitted helminthiasis, schistosomiasis, podoconiosis, lymphatic filariasis,
and trachoma are prevalent in the region. Similarly, south-western Ethiopia is hotbed of zoonotic diseases..
Nearly all of its partner universities have NTDs as a major health problem in their surrounding community.
Jimma University has launched joint PhD program in infectious diseases, the only of its kind in Ethiopia, in
2014 and has extensive research labs and field sites. PhD candidates from partner universities will have
access to these facilities and to the promoters from north and south to do their PhD and get research and
lab skills.
In writing this proposal, the relevance of the selected theme and projects to overall country strategy and
specific recommendations to Jimma University were given the due consideration. Out of the four themes
recommended in country strategy for Ethiopia, JU has been exceptionally active in the areas of health,
environment and water. However, health theme was further prioritized considering strengths and
achievements of the IUC program in terms of facilities and infrastructure, intellectual capital, scientific
outputs, and collaboration networks. Besides, the scale of activity was also considered to be an important
factor. Four of the five research projects in IUC program were dealing with human and animal health and
many centers of excellence that can support health science education and research were established
including infectious diseases, molecular biology, drug quality, mycobacteriological, and environmental health
labs and field sites. There are also three joint PhD programs initiated recently by IUC program, namely,
infectious diseases, human nutrition and environmental health and ecology that can be used as a starting
point for network collaboration in human capacity building and collaborative research. Over the next ten year
many more joint PhD programs can be launched in collaboration with partner local universities and Flemish
collaborating universties.
In accordance with recommendations of the country strategy, selection of partner universities was done from
first and second generation public universities that currently have VLIR-UOS projects, namely, Hawassa
University, College of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture (Addis Ababa University) and Ambo University.
All except Ambo University are first generation universities. These partner universities are located in south
and centeral parts of Ethiopia within a reasonable distance from the hub university (JU); they have also been
collaborating and benefitting from IUC program in one way or the other, for instance, from graduate
education opportunity, ICT capacity development, participating in staff exchange in teaching, and short term
training for staff. The partner universities, in turn, also support emerging universities in their region
multiplying contribution of network program.
In formulation and implementation of the program cross-cutting issues will be embedded in the projects.
Gender, ICT and management capacity including M&E framework should clearly be addressed during the
program formulation. Gender equity is a major limitation of Ethiopian higher education particularly in faculty
composition and in graduate student population. In the network program gender will be an important
consideration in admission to graduate prgroams and participation in research projects. Management
manuals will be developed on how to implement and monitor these cross-cutting issues. ICT and library
services are well-developed areas of JU capacity building during the IUC program. They are part of the
transversal project along with statistics to be scaled up in support of partner universities and neighboring
non-partner institutions. There is IUC initiated MSc program in statistics for the last seven years and has
been training faculty from 31 public universities. PhD curriculum has been developed and will go operational
in collaboration with network program partners in 2016.
1.4.
Academic/institutional relevance
Description of the link with the functioning of the universities involved
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Please elaborate regarding the contribution that the partner universities have made towards
national development in the past and in particular in the context of poverty reduction (National
Plan for Development, Poverty reduction Strategy Paper, etc. ) in max. 300 words.
Jimma University and its partner universities have contributed to national development of the country by
producing human resources in various fields, undertaking problem solving researches, and delivering
services to the society in the form health services, extension and technology transfer, and evidence for
policy. Jimma University is the national pioneer in community based education, a powerful approach that
shifted the higher education landscape of the country and known for health science programs. Hawasa
University one of the first generation universities that has been active in research in the areas of nutrition
and food sciences while Ambo University has been active in the areas of crop science and agricultural
productivity. COVMA is the first school of veterinary and animal health in the country has been the leader in
animal health and infectious control.
Looking at the VLIR-UOS criteria for appraisal, please summarize the main strengths and
possible weaknesses of the proposed network university cooperation in max. 300 words (in terms
of form Network format, theme and the specific strengths of the coordinating university to ‘lead’ a
network)
Jimma University has a very good track record in managing collaboration projects and in coordination of
partner programs including the recent experience of IUC program. There are also many other projects
where JU has been coordinating local partner universities, for instance, CASCAPE project financed by
NUFFIC was coordinated by JU with six local universities as partners. The university is known for
mobilizing additional resources and co-financing partner projects to maximize the benefits and impact of
the projects. For instance from IUC program the University was able to establish centers of excellence,
create nearly 50 PhD and many masters degree opportunities, and organized short term training for
over 500 participants, which is outstanding performance compared with the level of funding available
In the proposed network program there are a number of opportunities for synergy and optimization of
results. The program Integrates research into graduate programs; human capacity building of partner
universities is embedded in the graduate program and research activities; through research and
graduate education the program aims at creating national platform for impacting policy and practice at
national level. The program leverages, scales up and multiplies long standing program management
capacity, robust research infrastructure, extensive north-south network of professionals, and remarkable
human capacity that was created by IUC in Jimma University. The program responds to higher
education expansion, faculty development program, and education quality enhancement priorities in the
higher education sector plan; responds to integrated disease management using one health approach
and evidence based intervention strategies highlighted in the Health Sector Transformation Plan (HSTP
2015-2020);
Scientifically speaking, the university has a lot of potential to realize the objectives outlined in the
network program. Through the IUC program the University has mobilized largest scientific team in
Ethiopia. In IUC program there are at least 170 Ethiopian and 75 Belgian researchers (professors)
working together. The network program taps into this human resource and scales it out into other
institutions impacting their human capacity and taking it to a national level through collaboration with
governmental and nongovernmental bodies. Through the program the University will conducts research
at a larger scale and covers larger regions of the country which increases the validity and rigor of the
study findings and their application.
1.5.
Link with other initiatives (complementarity/synergy/coherence)
Link with initiatives taken in the same domain with/by other organisations (local, regional, Belgian
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supported, etc.) and in other VLIR-UOS activities.
Internally, the projects identified in this program, namely, infectious diseases and human nutrition resonate
with graduate program priorities and thematic research agenda of the university (JU research policy 2014
and its strategic plan 2015) There are already joint PhD programs initiated by IUC, and more new PhD
programs are planned to be launched through the network program. The projects are planned around the
centres of excellence established by the University, namely, infectious diseases, human nutrition, and
environmental health and ecology research centres. These centers have already human resources trained
at PhD level and well developed research labs. Externally, the projects are aligned with sectoral policies and
strategies of the country, primarily the second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II), disease control
strategy of the Ministry of Health, higher education development strategic plan, and agricultural
transformation and food security strategies. The program synergize its activities with relevant sectoral
initiatives and harmonizes its objectives with important national policies.
The program has horizontal collaboration with other projects in the university. For instance, the flagship
infectious disease research program that was started with IUC program will continue to be part of network
program. It will continue to leverage its current collaboration network with Belgian universities and ITM,
Ethiopian Institute of Public Health (EPHI), USAID and CDC, University of California, Imperial College of
London, KEMRI, ICIPE and WHO/TDR. There are wealth of expertise and resources that can be exploited to
advance common objectives of the program. Similarly, in the areas of human nutrition, the program is linked
with USAID-supported national nutrition research with Tufts University (ENGINE), Child Centred Counselling
by Nestle funding, and nutrition and HIV project supported by DANIDA as well as UN agencies particularly
UNICEF.
In the area of environmental health and ecology, the program collaborates with sector ministries including
with Ministry of Health, Ministry of Water and Energy, and Ministry of Forestry and Environment. The
program will also benefit from our current partnership with Jimma Municipality on waste management,
school sanitation and hygiene initiative supported by Korean Foundation for International Healthcare
(KOFIH).
The synergy among the initiatives take the form of research collaboration, funding, sharing of facilities and
infrastructure, participation in workshops and conferences, dissemination of research findings and policy
advocacy, and technical cooperation and advisory support in interventions. Partner universities also have a
number of initiative that can be tapped into during program planning and implementation.
2. Programme priorities
Project (subtheme)
Priority
(absolute)
Ranking
(relative)
Programme Support Unit (transversal)
Enhancing infectious diseases education and
research in Ethiopia
Very high
1
Better child health and growth through nutrition
sensitive agriculture
Transversal:
statistics
and
information
management (ICT/EMR and library,)
Very high
2
high
3
Programme budget (indicative only)
Phase I Projects
Total Budget
for 5 years (in euros)
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Y1
Y2
Y3
Y4
Y5
Project 1 :
135000 135000 135000 135000 135000
Project 2 :
40000
40000
40000
40000
40000
(Project 3:)
25000
25000
25000
25000
25000
Project:
‘Programme 50000
Support Unit’
50000
50000
50000
50000
Legend: Y: Year; Phase 1: strategic phase of 5 years.
3. Assumptions, preconditions, sustainability
Describe in detail the preconditions and external factors that can influence the realisation of the
objectives of the programme (feasibility).
Understandably, programs that involve many partners and implement multiple projects require sound
coordination experience and management capacity. As a good program management practice, it is crucial
that partners and other stakeholders are involved from the very beginning. Partner universities should
participate in program development, own the process, support and commit to the program implementation.
The network program we are proposing has a strong foundation in achievements of VLIR IUC program
implemented over the last ten years. There is effective and well-experienced program support unit to carry
out the network program administration which is still active and intact. As a research and education program,
network program is planned to use research labs and joint PhD programs that has been started during the
second phase of IUC program as well new joint PhD programs envisaged in the coming years. Faculty of
partner universities are admitted to the joint PhD programs and use already established research labs and
field sites for research. Jimma University has the leading research infrastructure in infectious disease in the
country. It has sufficiently invested in human nutrition, environmental health and soil research facilities as
well. During IUC years there are over 100 articles published by IUC projects on peer reviewed journals
include high impact journals. There are very good lab techniques and lab management skills transferred to
Jimma University during the last ten years of collaboration.
Jimma University has already active collaboration with the identified partner universities during IUC years. It
has been supporting their ICT services and has invited them to the training programs; their faculty have been
teaching in its graduate programs and vice versa. Notable in this collaboration is JU’s human, physical and
applications assistance given to more than 15 public universities and private higher education institutions in
ICT capacity development. The university itself has coordinated many inter-university projects, for instance,
in the field of agriculture the University has coordinated CASCAPE project on behalf of six public universities
including the network partner universities. Besides the University is coordinating USAID-supported Resilient
Africa Network (RAN) project that involve JU, University of Nairobi, University of Juba and Benadir University
(Somalia).. Therefore, JU has ample experience as coordinating university. There is a strong scientific,
technical and managerial foundation for the program..
When it comes to the program resources, we are not relying solely on network program budget. The network
program will draw resources from multiple sources. Ministry of Education has agreed to sign a long term
tripartite agreement with JU and University of Gent to support joint PhD programs. Through University of
Gent all Belgian universities will participate in the collaboration. The network program will remain in operation
for next ten years thereby expanding graduate education opportunities for teaching staff coming from partner
and non-partner universities. Also, projects prioritized for network program are among priority thematic
research agenda of Jimma and its partner universities which bring additional funding to the pool. Besides
current collaborators of the projects in the network program, sector ministries, research institutes, overseas
universities, bilateral organizations and UN agencies are going to be part of the ongoing projects in similar
areas of research. Therefore, although the number of projects might appear ambitious, our resource mapping
shows a strong pool of resources that can sustainably run the program in coming years. In addition,
resources will be mobilized through continuous grant writing in collaboration with our partners in the north.
The proposal team was careful in selection and scoping of the research projects to ensure their feasibility
taking into account the available budget, human power, infrastructure and facilities, and logistic requirements.
Besides, situation prevailing in partner universities were assessed using a SWOT model to see if they favour
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or constrain effective implementation of the program. Indicative budget for projects were allocated based on
the size (number of research areas), nature and intensity of the work expected during their implementation.
Available facilities and networks including their resource contributions were assessed to determine additional
resources need of the projects. The program also works with different governmental and non-governmental
partners in areas of common interest which avoids duplicate efforts and creates opportunity for cost sharing.
One of Belgian NGAs (Caritas International) is working in south western region of Ethiopia. They are
interested to collaborate with us in the area of nutrition and child health
While the program has essential features for sustainable operations, it is important to reflect on possible
challenges. One such challenge can be turnover of seasoned staff. From our experience in IUC program, we
have strategy of engaging those completing PhD as post-docs in Belgian universities. We also tried to avoid
reliance on individuals but encouraged team work. Improving working environment, creating opportunities for
professional development, engaging them in collaborative researches and opening opportunities to
supplement their income are also important strategies. Furthermore, the University has recently undertaken a
study into staff turnover and what are the major causes which will provide input for policy at institutional,
ministry and country level. Another possible challenge is ensuring commitment and optimum collaboration
from partner universities in the north and south. We strongly believe that VLIR IUC program has good
practice in this respect, particularly, in the process of program identification, matchmaking, formulation and
launching of the program. The process can help identify challenges beforehand and take remedial measures
including strong awareness creation, team building and institutionalization of the program in partner
institutions. Another possible challenge is procurement and supply chain management of research inputs.
Jimma University IUC program has been dealing with this challenges and has developed experience and
mechanisms including better planning, effective communication and use of its liaison office in Addis Ababa.
Describe the opportunities and challenges for the sustainability of benefits (capacity retention,
continuation of research activities, etc.) after VLIR-UOS funding (sustainability).
In this proposal we consider sustainability as a dynamic concept which raises our bars for measuring
sustainability. To be sustainable the program benefits should grow from time to time and the benefits should
be defined in the prevailing context over time. Therefore, sustainability as perpetuating a given level of
benefits is not robust enough to ensure program continuity.
There are strong indications that the program is sustainable because key issues promoted by the network
program including the inter-university collaboration, thematic research focus, expansion of graduate
program, undertaking demand-driven and high impact research, and other priority areas of the program are
highly supported by GTP II (2015-2020), higher education strategic plan (ESDP V), science and technology
policy, the strategic plan of respective partner universities and other national, sectoral and institutional
policies and strategies. It is important here to emphasize the institutional context of the program. JU has 56
undergraduate and 119 postgraduate programs. Only 19 of the postgraduate programs are PhD offering and
the rest are masters programs. Therefore, there is a huge drive and commitment from the University to
launch PhD programs. There is a strong belief that joint PhD is a way forward. This is evident from the
support the University has given to joint PhD programs launched by IUC. They received financial, space,
administrative and academic support which facilitated their swift implementation and ongoing support. The
situation in partner universities is not any different. They are all eager develop their capacity in areas of
graduate program and research. They also have initiatives supported by other partners in thematic area of
the network program which creates opportunity for synergy.
As we pointed out in other sections, the IUC program has created a conducive institutional, technical, and
human capacity for pursuing the network program. The network of institutions from north and south that
were partnering with IUC can be now leveraged for enhanced performance of the program. The IUC
research team consisting of 170 local and 75 Flemish members are still active and can continue supporting
the network program. As a result less effort is required for the preparatory phase of the program and more
energy will be concentrated on effective implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of the results.
It is also important to note that the theme and research projects identified by the program are prioritised in
national policy documents as well and sectoral policies and strategies of Federal Ministry of Health, regional
states health office, global partners and other relevant bodies such as Ministry of agriculture and Ministry of
Environment and Forests.
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