Assessing the EcoHealth Uptake of the EcoZD Research Teams

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What is the assessment of EcoHealth Uptake?

The Assessment of EcoHealth Uptake is an internal review of the organizational processes and products of EcoZD research teams in terms of each team's adoption and practice of EcoHealth principles. The EcoHealth Uptake Assessment focuses on extracting best-bet practices from lessons learned. It is not a performance evaluation.

Donors, EcoZD staff, and partners want to know the following regarding the uptake of EcoHealth theory, and practice by the EcoZD teams:

  1. What are the critical organizational factors that promote or hinder (i.e. function as 'bridges' or 'barriers') the adoption of the EcoHealth research approach?
  2. Which EcoHealth principles do EcoZD teams practice in their research work?
  3. What is the added value of these EcoHealth research practices to research or management of ZEIDs (zoonotic emerging infectious diseases)?
  4. What are the costs and benefits of these practices?


Why conduct this assessment on the adoption of EcoHealth by EcoZD research terms?

Answering the above questions will help EcoZD staff and research teams in creating the learning communities at partnering institutes that are necessary for building EcoHealth capacity - specifically be doing the following:

For bridges and barriers to EcoHealth

Based on EcoZD team experiences - characterize the organizational and research culture with greatest potential for open exchange, systems thinking, and transdisciplinary learning and research collaboration.

For practice of EcoHealth research principles

Identify, examine, and share best-bet EcoHealth research practices from EcoZD team experiences.

For added value to ZEID research/management

Examine actual, and potential environmental, animal or public health ZEID policies and practices that are, or might be influenced by EcoZD teams' research or engagement with strategic/boundary partners.

For costs and benefits

Document costs and benefits experienced by EcoZD teams' use of specific EcoHealth principles and the cost-mitigating and benefit-enhancing strategies used by teams.

Who conducts the assessment?

The on-going EcoHealth Uptake assessment is conducted with inputs from all EcoZD staff with Rainer Asse as the principle facilitator, in collaboration with the Outcome Mapping processes led by Korapin Tohtubtiang.

How is the assessment conducted?

The assessment is conducted through a review of team outputs (e.g. research presentations, communications, and articles) and a series of interviews and focus group discussions with EcoZD research team members. Additionally - Outcome Mapping Layer 1 learning exercises with teams serve as opportunities for exploring certain EcoHealth Uptake questions.

Where is the assessment conducted?

Assessment encounters are conducted with all eight EcoZD research teams in the six EcoZD countries. All EcoZD research team members participate.

When is the assessment conducted?

A first round of focus group discussions and interviews were conducted August - October 2011. A second round begins July 2012. Some second-round encounters will be conducted in conjunction with the Outcome Mapping exercises.

What are the key preliminary findings or lessons learnt?

Preliminary findings point to the presence of the following organizational and research culture characteristics as being potentially important in determining the EcoHealth adoption capacity of research teams:

  • Practice of non-hierarchical knowledge exchange and open information-sharing;
  • Articulation and use of metrics for self-assessment of in-team participation;
  • Use of organizational and communication innovations;
  • Synergistic partnering and building on past successes;
  • Adoption of social science and qualitative research methods;
  • Adaptive application of EcoHeath theory as research practice of policy action.

For more lessons learnt thus far, please refer to the presentation below from Rainer Asse, or contact [Rainer Asse]

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