Meeting Minutes
Annual Investigators’ Meeting
Strengthening Health, Applying Research Evidence (SHARE) project
Date: Tuesday, 13 February 2018
Venue: icddr,b, Matlab
Topic:

 Progress of SHARE project in 2017
 Workplan of SHARE project in 2018
 Athena SWAN and BSMMU’s Experience on Gender Component
 Administrative Issues
 Recommendations
 Participants
Progress of SHARE project in 2017
Dr. Sohana Shafique, Assistant Scientist, SHARE project

 A conceptual framework for the SHARE project has been developed. Interventions and activities implemented by this project were mostly centered on urban health and NCDs, which are the project’s two focal points.

 The project worked on generating evidence through ‘Knowledge Synthesis’. The Systematic Review Centre in BSMMU has assisted the project in doing so. Five training sessions on ‘Research Methodology’ and ‘Systematic Review’ for the faculties of BSMMU have been organized by the project.

 A systematic review on ‘Measures of Inequality’ has already been submitted and will be published soon. Preparation for the next review on ‘Hypertension’ is currently undergoing.

 In collaboration with DGHS; BSMMU and IRDCR, the SHARE project facilitated seven divisional trainings in various locations throughout Bangladesh. More than 200 participants attended the trainings. To promote distance-learning in the health sector, the project helped DHIS 2 to develop and launch an e-learning course on related subject matters.

 The SHARE project joined forces with UCL to assess the current situation of NCDs in Bangladesh. This collaboration will also work to include ‘salt and sugar’ policy in the national health policies. Moreover, a Public Engagement Programme involving school students from privileged and underprivileged schools from Bangladesh and UK, was initiated to determine and promote the knowledge of NCDs among them.

 In collaboration with the Press Institute of Bangladesh (PIB) and Journalist Health Forum, the SHARE project initiated an orientation session for journalists working on health issues in Bangladesh. This session helped the journalists to understand technical and complex health data and scientific articles and write and interpret them in easy-to-understand language for the mass population.

 SHARE Project utilized the media in bridging the gap between research evidence and health policy making, through a health-based talk show, which was broadcasted on a national TV channel. Ways to prevent non-communicable diseases in Bangladesh and how this country’s health system should be reformed to do such, were discussed in details in the talk show.
 The SHARE project recently arranged a discussion on community participation in healthcare services in Jhenaidah. The event aimed to explore how best healthcare strategies can be suitable for and acceptable to the local community members. The discussion engaged the local crowd in a fruitful exchange of knowledge, information and ideas on issues related to community participation in healthcare services.

 SHARE project facilitated two discussions in the spirit and format of Café Scientifique. The discussion, titled ‘Healthy Lifestyle to Prevent Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)’ in collaboration with the Department of Public Health and Informatics. The project organized its second ‘Café Scientifique’ on ‘Breast Cancer Scenario: Prevention and Awareness’ in collaboration with the Bangladesh Breast Cancer Awareness Forum. Different stakeholders including students, academicians, researchers and policy makers were engaged through the Café Scientifique.

 The SHARE project in collaboration with DGHS, facilitated an international conference on ‘Data for Decision Making in Health’. Team members from this project have successfully participated in similar conferences in Myanmar, South Africa and Sweden.

 The SHARE project members got affiliated with the Global Evidence Synthesis Initiative (GESI), under the group name ‘Evidence Synthesis for Impact’.

 After its mid-term evaluation, the European Union (EU) has acknowledged the SHARE project to be the best performing project of its kind among all the eight countries it supported.
Workplan of SHARE project in 2018
Dr. Sohana Shafique, Assistant Scientist, SHARE project

Please see Annex. 1

Athena SWAN and BSMMU’s Experience on Gender Component
Dr. Fariha Haseen, Assistant Professor, BSMMU
Dr. Sarah Hawkes, Professor, Co-PI of SHARE project

 10 principles of Athena SWAN:

1. We acknowledge that academia cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of all.

2. We commit to advancing gender equality in academia, in particular, addressing the loss of women across the career pipeline and the absence of women from senior academic, professional and support roles.

3. We commit to addressing unequal gender representation across academic disciplines and professional and support functions. In this we recognise disciplinary differences including:

a. the relative underrepresentation of women in senior roles in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL)
b. the particularly high loss rate of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM)

4. We commit to tackling the gender pay gap.

5. We commit to removing the obstacles faced by women, in particular, at major points of career development and progression including the transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career.

6. We commit to addressing the negative consequences of using short-term contracts for the retention and progression of staff in academia, particularly women.

7. We commit to tackling the discriminatory treatment often experienced by trans people.

8. We acknowledge that advancing gender equality demands commitment and action from all levels of the organization and in particular active leadership from those in senior roles.

9. We commit to making and mainstreaming sustainable structural and cultural changes to advance gender equality, recognizing that initiatives and actions that support individuals alone will not sufficiently advance equality.

10. All individuals have identities shaped by several different factors. We commit to considering the intersection of gender and other factors wherever possible.

 There are four focus areas of Athena SWAN- organizational culture, promotion, support and work-life balance.

 Currently there are 143 Athena SWAN members, holding 669 awards among them.
 Four main activities of Athena Swan: representation, provision of students into academia, journey through career milestones and good working environment for all staff.

 Three steps in Athena SWAN: Gold, Silver and Bronze. BSMMU will apply to get a Bronze certification in 2018.

 BSMMU is contextualizing the Athena SWAN concept in the organization and creating criteria to evaluate the outcomes.

 90% of all the nurses in BSMMU are female and the situation is almost the same throughout the country.

 Eleven departments in BSMMU are headed by female, though since 2012, 100% of the promoted officials are male.

 More female are interested to work with reproductive and child health issues than men.

 Males are more inclined to work with epidemiology.

 BSMMU came up with a proposal to work with five of its departments to collect data on gender equality, to use them for Athena SWAN.
Administrative Issues
Dr. Aminur Rahman Shaheen, Scientist, PD of SHARE project

 The project is possibly coming to an end in 2019 and it should focus on taking the project beyond that timeline, preferably thorough a no-cost extension. If extended, the project will focus more on its public engagement component, along with communications and media evolvements.

 The SHARE project needs to consult with the Legal Office of icddr,b regarding the unavailability of the Palladium Group.

 The project will work to revise its budget and icddr,b will bear the cost in this regard.

 The project successfully finished all the tasks previously allocated to the Future Group.

 The SHARE project is scheduled to facilitate three visits in 2018 – Technical Monitoring Team, Audit and Evaluation Frameworks.

Recommendations

 Both the original workplan and the logical framework of the SHARE project will be reviewed and adjusted to adapt the additional activities and interventions the project has been undertaking since its beginning.

 In 2018 and 2019, the SHARE project will focus on making results, through an evaluation framework. Similar to its base-line studies, an end-line study is also needed to apply this framework to the project’s components.
 Throughout 2018, relevant activities and initiatives of the SHARE project will center on NCDs and urban health.

 SHARE will facilitate an international conference on Community Health Worker in 2019 and use this platform to successfully disseminate the findings and outcomes of the project.

 SHARE will organize a special seminar on NCD in June 2018.

 MPH Students of BSMMU and James P Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University, should work with the researchers of icddr,b to get hands-on experience in health research.
 Researchers with extra fund can hire MPH students as interns/research assistants.

 More experts on reviewing policy briefs should be enrolled in the system.
 E-learning should not be the only purpose of RPCC and the website should have an easy and streamlined ‘search’ option and a database. RPCC must be accessible not just to researchers, but also to policy makers. It must have relevant web-traffic monitoring system.

 Policy makers will have to be trained to use e-library and databases properly.
 Health policy making through media engagement shouldn’t not be practiced.

 BSMMU could be affiliated with Cochrane.
 icddr,b should take initiative to apply Athena SWAN in the organization.

 Further researches could be taken into consideration in the areas of work-life balance among female nurses and medical officers.
 In the government health system, there is still no proper career planning/guidance for public health professionals. GoB should look into this matter as soon as possible.

 More executive and evening MPH programmes should be readily available in institutes like BSMMU, IPH and BRAC.

 Health professionals should do an MPH, even after finishing clinical degrees.

 Both icddr,b and BSMMU should strive to get at least one ‘gender champion’ from each department.

 RPCC should not be an online library only, but also a platform for a collection of policy briefs.