Nomad health: reflection and evaluation

A core element of JOHI (Jigjiga University One Health Initiative) is the repeated dialogue with its stakeholders and the target population of the project. JOHI is not a research project with pre-determined scientific aims and objectives but is flexible and adaptive to the perceptions and priorities of all actors. In this way, it maintains a corrective element that allows the project to adapt to emerging issues and unexpected events.

JOHI underwent a peer evaluation process involving participants from the donor organisation, the partners, and an independent consultant. The evaluation team participated in a stakeholder workshop and interviewed any actor at its own discretion. The evaluation showed that JOHI created research capacity at Jigjiga University and also strongly engaged with the target population of the project. The evaluation highlighted that at the level of the regional government stakeholders, rapid turnover of representatives weakened institutional memory and slowed down the policy dialogue.

JOHI oscillates between generation of systems knowledge by multi- and interdisciplinary research and exposure to representatives of the target population and service providers to co-create transformational knowledge, which is then used to develop interventions that are feasible for the service providers and acceptable to the target population. We conclude that such iterative transdisciplinary research projects have a huge advantage over conventional scientist-driven research, leading to more rapid transfer of research findings into policy and practice.

What do you think of such flexible and adaptive projects like JOHI? Where else could they be used? Possibly in one of your research projects?

Author: Prof. Dr. Jakob Zinsstag