By CHIOMA OBINNA
To boost outcomes of health research in Nigeria and other African countries, the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, NIMR, has trained 20 researchers from Nigeria and six African countries.
The training which took place in Lagos was aimed at building capacity of researchers to be able to monitor their programmes as they are doing it as well as evaluate the outcome of their programmes at the end.
Director – General, NIMR, Professor Innocent Ujah who acknowledged the importance of the training particularly for health researchers lamented that Monitoring and Evaluation had been relegated in Nigeria.
“Monitoring and Evaluation is the barometer to know if what researchers are doing is working and to plan for improvement. No nation that has relegated M& E has ever succeeded and that is why many developing countries like Nigeria are yet to be developed. It is like a compass that directs us. In science, we believe that is the best way to go.”
Also speaking, Director of the Programme, Professor Oni Idigbe hinted that the training was supported by a grant from EDCTP, West African Network of TB/AIDS and Malaria, WANETAM, USAID, IANPHI and Measure Evaluation.
“The essence of M&E is to be able to set a target that would enable you achieve the set objectives. It also gives you opportunity to know if the project is progressing or not and gives you opportunity to see what is wrong and correct it. At the end, you now evaluate yourself, Idigbe stated.”
Seven of the participants were drawn from Darkar, Uganda, Ethopia, Gambia, Malawi and Ghana; nine from NIMR and four from other states of the Federation. Bamidele Samson from Measure Evaluation, noted that M&E was an emerging science and is relevant to health research.