At the invitation of the Wellcome Trust, INGSA-Africa conducted a half-day science advice workshop on the 27th of February 2019 in Lilongwe, Malawi. The workshop, held at the President Walmont Hotel, was organised by the Wellcome Trust UK in partnership with the Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme (MLW) and the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP).

The broader event, focused on Networks for Policy Engagement, held between the 25th and 27th of February and had about 50 participants (mainly health specialists) in attendance. The participants were from Africa, Europe, and Asia.

The INGSA science advice workshop was facilitated by Dr Renee Street and Dr Doyin Odubanjo. It opened with Dr Odubanjo making a presentation on evidence-informed policymaking followed by a discussion session. Subsequently, Dr Street introduced the case study Panderia which the participants discussed in groups.

A lengthy general discussion followed, based on issues that emanated from the group work. Participants were particularly intrigued by the complexity of policymaking made further complicated by the many sources of information available to policymakers and the public, including the influence of social media.

Prior to the science advice workshop, Dr Odubanjo was invited to join a panel, on February 26, to discuss how engaging key stakeholders through networks makes for impactful policy engagement. Apart from issues around networks and policy engagement, he introduced INGSA and its role as a network in bridging the evidence and policy gap.

You can read more about the meeting at the AFIDEP website.