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IDRC and the TDR enhance One Health implementation research capacity in Central and West Africa

The growing impacts of climate change on health require carefully considered research approaches that better identify needs and provide context-relevant, inclusive and sustainable solutions.
A large group of people pose for a photo
Current Master’s of Public Health students at Senegal’s Université Cheikh Anta Diop, supported by the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, assemble for a photo during an implementation research workshop earlier this year.

One such approach is sound implementation research conducted through a One Health lens. Such research ensures the study of the interconnectedness of human, animal and environmental ecosystems so that needs and solutions can be better understood. However, limited implementation research capacity using a One Health approach is a key hurdle to generating evidence and increasing its use in decision-making, especially in French-speaking Central and West Africa. 

To help overcome this hurdle, IDRC is supporting the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR), based at the World Health Organization, to strengthen research and health leadership in One Health. IDRC’s funding will directly support four students enrolled in the Master's of Public Health program at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal. Each student will focus on a One Health implementation projects as part of their master’s training. IDRC’s support will last for 24 months, starting in January 2024.  

two women and a man stand for a photograph
Mahnaz Vahedi (left), a scientist with TDR, Professor Sylvain Faye, Dean, School of Medicine, Université Cheikh Anta Diop, and Dr. Marie-Gloriose Ingabire, IDRC’s regional director for Central and West Africa (June 2023).

This new program will also build on TDR’s leadership in online implementation research training by providing a module on implementation research and One Health. The module will be available to students in addition to TDR’s training tools on gender and intersectionality. The course will be developed online in French, contextualized to the West African sub-region, with the aim of being widely disseminated as a massive open online course for French-speaking health professionals and academics. 

The centrality of gender and equity considerations in fostering inclusive and equitable solutions to pressing global health concerns is a priority for IDRC-funded research. Expected outcomes of this collaboration include strengthened individual and institutional capacities in Francophone Central and West African countries, especially in the design, conduct and translation of gender-transformative and equity-oriented One Health implementation research.