As a planned part of the R4HA programme, the team appointed a South African firm, Science and Innovation Policy Studies (SIPS), to evaluate the work of the programme. The evaluation was conducted over the period of October to December 2013 .
The aim of the evaluation was to answer three fundamental questions. Is the R4HA programme:
- Making any difference?
- Doing the right things?
- Doing the right things in the right way?
In summary, the evaluation established that the R4HA programme is very relevant and addresses priority needs of African countries. The evaluation found that the R4HA programme is highly relevant and also unique; there are no other types of programmes that work in such a way on health research system strengthening.
The evaluation mentioned the main achievements as being:
- Stimulation of processes to formulate health research priorities in the three countries
- Building institutional capacities for designing and using M&E frameworks
- Development of information systems for health research and research for health
- Stimulation of a process to establish an institutional mechanism to coordinate health research in Senegal, and
- Enhanced collaboration among institutions in the three countries (including cross-sectoral collaboration).
Of the things for us to improve upon, the evaluation found that country institutions perceived R4HA as a donor. So for the next phase the R4HA team are working on the design of a multi-finance approach where each partner contributes financially to a partnership.