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Monitoring & evaluation

This entails operational research into key areas of prevention and treatment and programme contributions to the National M&E framework and plan.

SuNMaP’s Plan

SuNMaP’s strategy sought to:

  • Establish ways to track the changes in the malaria burden
  • Provide information on trends in knowledge, attitude and practice related to malaria control.
  • Provide evidence on how malaria control interventions have worked.
  • Provide opportunities for capacity building in the sphere of evidence generation.
  • Promote links between the research community and policy makers.
  • Establish a mechanism for identifying national malaria research priorities.

At the onset of the programme, initial research was conducted to assess community and clients’ knowledge, attitudes, perceptions, myths and practices around malaria control communication issues. At present, SuNMaP maintains its subscription to the Omnibus survey to track trends in relation to malaria communication indicators. The findings of these surveys are being used to guide planning and review of communication interventions.

Monitoring and evaluation involved:

  • Working closely with NMEP involving them in activities and share results in order to support and contribute to the National M&E framework and Plan
  • Supporting NMCP in building M&E capacity and harmonising malaria M&E activities between partners in the sense of “one M&E plan.” This was achieved by aligning indicators for SuNMaP’s M&E with those used by NMCP, active participation in respective coordination meetings and direct support to NMCP by SuNMaP’s M&E specialist and short term consultancies where needed.
  • Strengthening routine M&E systems such as HMIS and capacity building in the use of these systems.
  • Using as much as possible existing tools and sharing these as well as results with partners. This included joint efforts to implement nationally representative surveys such as MIS.
  • Where these tools did not exist, developing simple and easy to use monitoring tools that were designed to be used by federal, state, LGA and health facility level staff and facilitate interpretation and use of data by automating data processing and analysis were possible.
  • Develop adequate systems to capture information also from the private sector
  • Closely link M&E efforts to operational research to ensure that efforts of the latter answer the pertinent question for evidence-based policy and strategy development

SuNMaP supported capacity development through calls for proposals, mentoring research teams, and development of communications strategy for dissemination.

SuNMaP also involved federal and state ministries of health, as well as Nigerian research institutions to undertake some of the research. It carried out monitoring and evaluation activities for the interventions supported by the project.

What we accomplished

Research

Nigeria has a vibrant research community and high levels of expertise compared to other countries in the region. There are several local research groups within institutions in Nigeria involved in extensive malaria research.

However, challenges remain, as there is insufficient connection between researchers and policy makers.

Monitoring and Evaluation

There have been national surveys, which SuNMaP supports. These took place in 2008 and 2010. Post LLIN campaign surveys took place in 2009: Kano and Anambra and in 2010: Niger and Ogun (plus Sokoto as a non-SuNMaP state). 

Antenatal clinic surveys were also used following the LLIN mass distribution. Other surveys include LLIN retail market survey. SuNMaP also buys in to the twice-yearly Nigeria Omnibus survey which covers general market and consumer trends.

Selected sites are being, and will continue to be, monitored in order to assess various aspects of malaria epidemiology and transmission exposure. The current sites serve as a pilot. Certain hospitals are being used to monitor the effectiveness of anti-malaria medicines.

Lessons learnt

Some of the factors that may have hindered the development of a strong linkage between the research community and policy makers include:

  • Limited funding for malaria research.
  • Weak infrastructure to promote centres for such research
  • Research findings are rarely widely disseminated. This also means the potential for duplication of effort.

Recommendations

Future national surveys could include markers to assess how well the NMEP has worked. Results from the surveys are now being gathered. This evidence may lead to NMEP challenges as it struggles to bring this evidence to inform the current health systems. Therefore, NMEP should collaborate with National Planning Commission to influence the programmatic direction of donors and implementing agencies. 

For SuNMaP’s strategy paper on providing evidence for malaria control, see here.

 

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