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Olagoke Akintola: Reflections on Knowledge Translation in Community Health Research in Southern Africa
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Olagoke Akintola: Reflections on Knowledge Translation in Community Health Research in Southern Africa


Dr. Olagoke Akintola, senior lecturer at the University of KwaZuluNatal in Durban, South Africa, presented at AMREF's Coffeehouse Speaker Series on global development on the intersection of health and …

Dr. Olagoke Akintola, senior lecturer at the University of KwaZuluNatal in Durban, South Africa, presented at AMREF's Coffeehouse Speaker Series on global development on the intersection of health and development with specific focus on the community level. The coffeehouse speaker series looks at international development and global health, specifically focusing on Africa.

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  • Evidence based research is a strong focus of AMREF’s in its training of CHW’s. Do what is proven to work not what you have always done. We are lucky to be able to have a strong network and platform to make our voice heard in africa and pertaining to african issues.


  • 1. Reflections on KnowledgeTranslation in Community HealthResearch in Southern AfricaOlagoke Akintola, MBA, MPH, PhDVisiting Professor, Program in Policy Decision-making, Centre for Health Economics and PolicyAnalysis, McMaster UniversitySenior Lecturer Health Promotion Program, University ofKwaZuluNatal, Durban, South Africa
  • 2. Background• Focus of research: Intersection of health &development with specific focus on thecommunity level• Primary health care provides the context• Alma Ata Declaration 1978 Kazakhstan
  • 3. • Community health care– Work(ers)• Workers• Work• Community-based organizations
  • 4. • Interdisciplinary work drawing on:– Social and organizational psychology– Health psychology– Positive psychology– Public health– Community development– Feminist economics– Gender and health– Political economy
  • 5. • Caregivers and care work– Workers’ gender & gendered nature of care(Akintola 2004ab;2006)– Workers’ health: stress, burnout=burden of care(Akintola 2008; Akintola, Hlengwa, Dageid 2013)– Work environment/conditions:motivations, rewards/remuneration, employmentopportunities, career advancement, job creation
  • 6. • Caregivers and care work– ‘Meaning of working’ among paid AIDS careemployees (Akintola & Ntetha forthcoming)• Meanings attached to working influences– Job performance– Satisfaction– Absenteeism– Turnover/Attrition
  • 7. • Community-based organizations– Paid care workers in CBOs (Akintola & Chikokoforthcoming)– Access to funding– Impact of the global financial crisis
  • 8. • Political economy of care/care economy• AIDS care economy/political economy of AIDScare (Akintola, 2006; 2008)– Value of time spent by caregivers– Cost of hospital care versus community/homecare
  • 9. • Access to resources in home care– Training resources (Akintola & Dlaminiforthcoming)– Psychosocial support (Akintola & Gweloforthcoming)– Social support (Akintola & forthcoming)
  • 10. • Social capital and care– The role of social capital in accessing resources forHBC (Akintola 2011; Dageid et al, 2011)– Community-based organizations and their roles inhealth and development (Dageid et al, 2011)– Community participation in health anddevelopment (Dageid et al, 2011)
  • 11. • Care and poverty– Exploring the links between AIDS care and poverty• Opportunity costs: impact on agriculture or paid work• Financial costs• Material costs
  • 12. Research to Policy: Strategies andExperiences• Presentation at International conferences– Bangkok AIDS conference 2004=• conference media coverage• Internet• Hosted on several health, development and genderwebsites• Interviews 1) IRIN (UN internet newspaper 2)nationalSouth African radio service• E-mail request for policy paper from researchers, NGOsand advocacy agencies working on development,gender & health
  • 13. • Use of other packaged research evidence. (KTProducts): Policy Briefs; Policy Papers (HEARDWebsite 2004)• Focus on Gendered burden of care– Request for further research from International NGO:ActionAID International– Publication for ActionAID used mainly for advocacy– Launched at Africa AIDS conference, Abuja 2005– Other advocacy/lobbying activities
  • 14. • Invitations to present at International forumsof academics, policy advocates, internationalorganizations & to contribute to UN policydocuments.– Outcomes• Development of policy documents for UN Sec Genreport to the Commission of Status of Women• Policy meetings/documents on extreme poverty andcare at the UN Geneva
  • 15. • Invitation to partner with Internationaladvocacy NGOs (Huairou Commission, NewYork)– Outcome:• multi-country research on remuneration of volunteercaregivers• Used for advocacy & lobbying at the UN Commission onthe Status of Women & other fora
  • 16. Social capital project• Use of further research for dissemination andparticipation• Community dissemination of research findings• Community participation in knowledgetranslation –skits, recording• Stakeholder participation in dissemination ofKT products (DVD), participatory communitydrama•
  • 17. • Comics/cartoons distributed throughout studycommunity• Skits dissemination through the internet
  • 18. • Academic publications in peer-reviewedjournals• Edited scholarly book on social capital andAIDS foracademics, students, teaching, researchers, policymakers
  • 19. Concluding thoughts• KT product developed based on intended audience• Research to policy could be a slow process• Dissemination does not necessarily imply uptake• But necessary step towards uptake• In our studies we sought to create awareness amongpolicy makers at the global level• There is anecdotal evidence that findings percolate andeventually get to policymakers• Partnerships with other organizations• Studies generates snowball effect among researchersand advocates and lobbyists