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Wednesday, 06 July 2016 14:25

London visit

by Myles Ritchie, Team Leader

The EHPSA Team Leader and colleagues visited London recently to share the purpose and progress of the programme more widely, both within DFID and with other UK-based organisations. In DFID, EHPSA met with the Evidence into Action (EiA) unit and the SRHR and Inclusive Societies/’Leave no-one behind’ Policy Teams.

The policy teams showed a keen interest in in the EHPSA supported research in both the adolescent and LGBTI portfolios whilst the EiA unit were supportive of the approaches and mechanisms being implemented by EHPSA for research uptake. There was a great deal of interest in the internal monitoring and learning assessment of EHPSA’s EiA modalities and the prospective recommendations this assessment will produce.

EHPSA also visited the EPPI Centre at the University College of London, which is involved in producing systematic reviews for DFID country offices through DFID’s East Asia Research Hub. Following the formal reviews, the Centre produces evidence briefs and in-country contextualisations of findings to ensure uptake. Examples of these approaches were shared with EHPSA.

EHPSA met with STRIVE at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. STRIVE is a research consortium focussing on the structural drivers of HIV. The meeting was an opportunity to jointly discuss the challenges and lessons learned in delivering research programmes as well as an opportunity to discuss EiA approaches. STRIVE shared examples of evidence briefs, which are geared for both an academic audience and community stakeholders.

EHPSA was invited to a seminar on HIV in Prisons hosted by the UK Department of Justice. Speakers included Harm Reduction International, discussing harm reduction in prisons, VSO International on their prisons work in Southern Africa and a UK based HIV activist, Sophie Strachan on current policy development in UK prisons. We were able to share briefly about the work we are supporting on sexual violence in prisons in the region through Sonke Gender Justice and Just Detention International.

On the last day of the visit, EHPSA visited the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, Sexuality Poverty and Law Programme. The programme provides evidence based knowledge and new policy options for LGBTI. An important discussion was held on the sensitivity of doing research with these groups and the challenges of research uptake. IDS have produced a series of evidence-based toolkits on LGBTI which are of interest to EHPSA.

In addition to sharing the programme more widely and gaining invaluable advice from the various organisations visited, the meetings were a validation that EHPSA has a meaningful role to play in the generation and uptake of HIV prevention evidence for vulnerable populations in the region and there is much interest in the programme.

Below are some useful links of the various organisations EHPSA visited in London:

Department for International Development
   - Interactions
   -Sexuality poverty and law programme


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