Research & policy change

Malaria Consortium believes that policy and practice should be influenced by evidence. Our practical expertise in all aspects of malaria control and elimination, integrated community case management and community engagement approaches has been developed over two decades. This means we can provide strong evidence for interventions we know work and allows us to confidently advocate for evidence uptake into national and global policies.

Our quality implementation and operational research provides evidence for programme staff, ministries of health and partner organisations to make informed decisions to improve programme performance and quality of implementation.

Key to our research are our relationships with international, national and local stakeholders, including academic partners, national malaria control programmes and the local communities themselves. We know that our research expertise can be most effective when working alongside academic institutions and directed by the priorities of these national programmes.

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Independent Research Organisation

Our award of Independent Research Organisation status by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) in 2021 allows us to grow our partnerships with academia, globally and nationally. This recognises our in-house research capacity, how our teams support master’s students, the geographical coverage of our research, and gender diversity of our authors.

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Research projects

We have developed and delivered numerous research projects under awards from large multi- and bi-lateral donors and private foundations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), UK aid and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. These have ranged from smaller projects of US$50,000 (£38,175) up to projects worth over $10 million (£7.63 million).

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Journal articles

Our in-house research teams routinely publish their research findings as lead and co-authors in international, peer-reviewed journals including PLoS One, PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Malaria Journal, Health Policy and Planning, the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the Lancet Infectious Diseases and the Lancet Global Health.

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Most of our projects have a research component and we capture learnings in our publications, documenting and communicating insights that support programme quality improvement and policy change. By sharing these publicly, we hope to provide knowledge on public health development that will help influence and advance both policy and practice.

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We use webinars to share data and lessons, helping advance analysis and thinking around disease control and management. Our webinars aim to create awareness and convene discussion, bringing together Malaria Consortium technical experts and programmes teams with other actors working on the effective delivery of national and global health interventions.

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Implementation and
operational research

Our implementation and operational research give decision makers information with which to help identify solutions to problems that limit the effectiveness, efficiency or quality of their programmes and improve performance. We conduct studies that focus on country-specific research questions as well as research that answers questions of global significance.

In practice: We conduct high-quality operational research that provides evidence for programme staff, Ministries of Health and partners to make informed decisions to improve SMC programme performance and quality of SMC implementation.

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Clinical studies

Our clinical studies help to determine the safety and effectiveness of medications, devices, diagnostic products and treatment regimens intended for the prevention, treatment, diagnosis or relief of symptoms of a disease. Our results have been disseminated at national and international levels.

In practice: Earlier this year, we announced a new research study to determine the burden of malaria and long-term complications following SARS-CoV-2 infection.

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Health systems and services research

We develop and test practical solutions to problems that are either specific to particular health systems or that address a problem common to several countries in a region. Our health services research helps to understand how people access healthcare services, the cost implications of different intervention combinations and delivery systems, and the quality of healthcare services.

In practice: In Mozambique, we tested the functionality of the upSCALE  digital health diagnostics platform and its potential for expansion, supporting the Mozambican Ministry of Health to roll out the digital health platform nationwide.

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Product development and testing

Our research aims to understand the extent to which interventions, products or devices are safe and feasible to implement in a specific context.

In practice: Malaria Consortium led research published in EClinicalMedicine  demonstrated that handheld pulse oximeters are suitable tools for frontline health workers in detecting severe illness in children under five in resource-poor countries.

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Surveillance for disease prevention and control

We collate population-based information on disease occurrence, prevention, treatment and survival and strengthen the scientific basis for prevention and control, nationally and globally.

In practice: The strengthening malaria surveillance for data-driven decision making in Mozambique project is working to operationalise a functional malaria surveillance system responsive to all transmission strata across Mozambique by strengthening data quality and establishing a data-use and data-to-action culture.

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