ANNUAL REPORT 2018: Breaking New Ground- Find out how APHRC is transforming lives in Africa

Word From the Executive Director

This was an exceptional year of evolution, growth and maturation for APHRC, illustrated both by the breadth of projects we implemented across our three programmatic divisions and the depth of the systems and operations we have put in place to support them. We are still prodigious in our publications – more than 70 in 2018, including two special issues of the BMC Public Health journal – on research drawn from a national survey on noncommunicable disease (NCD) risk factors in Kenya and an analysis of NCD prevention policies from six African countries.

But beyond publications, we are moving into new terrain, bringing our research findings into public and policy-oriented conversations, all the way from the study communities in which we collect our data to debates within the African Union Commission. In 2018, we embarked on structured public engagement as a way to bring the findings from our work back to the communities providing data and to co-create with them solutions to some of the problems identified by our research.

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Countdown to 2030 for Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescents’ Health: Strengthening analysis and evidence in sub-Saharan Africa

Country institutional capacity for data analysis is improving but very slowly and not keeping pace with greater data availability. In general, the Ministries of Health and National Statistical Offices in countries in East and Southern Africa have limited analytical and communication capacity, and there is variable institutional capacity outside of government, e.g. national public health institutes and academic institutions. There are several bright spots in the sub-region – institutes with greater capacity– but these often get overloaded with projects and requests from government and development partners. […]

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Gender and Conservation Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review

Conservation agriculture (CA) involves the practice of concurrent minimum tillage, permanent soil cover using crop residue, and crop rotation. Evidence indicates that CA increases agricultural productivity, reduces farming labor requirements, and improves soil quality. While CA is practiced in several African contexts, little is known about its interaction with gender. This review synthesized knowledge on the interplay of gender and CA in sub-Saharan Africa. The review highlighted the relative neglect of gender issues in research on CA in SSA. Existing research was limited both in quantity and to a few countries in the region. There was also little critical focus on gender as a social phenomenon: a few of the studies conceptualized gender in terms of the socially constructed roles of men and women while the majority framed it in terms of the sexual categories of male and female. Compared to men, and due largely to gendered barriers, including lack of access to land; machinery; inputs; extension services; and credit facilities, women farmers adopted CA less and disadopted it more. CA increased women’s incomes, labor involvement, household food security, as well as risks for land and crop dispossession by men when farming becomes lucrative. It also increased workloads, employment opportunities and health risks for women. CA positively altered gender relations, boosting women’s participation in agricultural decision-making at the household level. Deliberately enlisting women as beneficiaries; working with men to advance their understanding of women’s needs in agriculture, and offering agricultural inputs directly to women are some strategies that enhanced women’s participation in CA. Gaps in current research on gender and CA include: critical focus on and understanding of gender as a social construct in relation to CA; the long-term impacts on CA for gender relations, incomes for men and women, and women’s empowerment; the sustainability of strategies for supporting gendered participation in CA; and the dynamics of gendered access to local farmland markets for CA. […]

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