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Dr Brahima Amara Diallo (2020)

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Picture of Brahima Amara Diallo

Host Organisation: Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Project title: Developing institutional capacity in evaluation methods for higher research impact in West Africa

Dr Diallo is an anthropologist. His PhD project dealt with mothers’ lived experiences of pregnancy, childbirth, and postnatal care within their community and in the health facility in rural Mali. He joined the MRC Unit The Gambia (MRCG) at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine as a social science lead on PRECISE, a UKRI/GCRF-funded research project. Dr Diallo’s projects inspired him to develop a programme that evaluates of public health interventions and implementation research.

AREF Fellowship research project:

Evaluation of public health interventions is becoming increasingly important for policy decision-making. Policymakers need to know what the best intervention is in a given environment and how best to use the limited resources available. But how do we choose the most appropriate method of evaluation for an intervention?

Through the AREF RDF fellowship, Dr Diallo acquired strong quantitative methodology skills around designing, implementing, and evaluating a complex intervention in epidemiological and clinical research. As an anthropologist, the trainings and placement courses also increased his multidisciplinary perspective on approaching health-related issues.

Dr Diallo reported that he developed insight into how to ensure a successful rollout of intervention and maximize its impacts while engaging with stakeholders to align study activities with local priorities. Additionally, fellowship enabled him to develop a strong network across Africa and in the UK and he is  currently developing a grant proposal through this network on an intervention to address the burden of NCD in Africa.

I was able to enhance the institutional research capacity around evaluation methods thanks to a two-day workshop on process and outcome evaluation held at MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM. This gave opportunity to colleagues to acquire expertise in integrating evaluations within existing and new projects and how to work alongside implementers to ensure interventions are developed in ways that make their rationale explicit and facilitate robust scrutiny of their delivery and outcomes.

Dr Diallo has been appointment as a member of the steering committee of the Centre for Evaluation at LSHTM and he strongly believes that the fellowship had an impact in this achievement. This new role will enable him strengthen the collaboration between the Centre for Evaluation and MRCG and make MRCG play a strong role in delivering the mission of the Centre of promoting evaluation research and methods.

Through this placement, I aim to contribute to increasing the research impact of the MRCG, an institution that has over seven decades of research experience.

Through his AREF fellowship, Dr Diallo will gain valuable knowledge and expertise in evaluation and statistical methods for epidemiological and clinical research. Working on data processing of implementation research, he will use his experience to strengthen the research capacity of the MRCG’s newly established social science group.