Research Strategic Planning Sets Future Path
Kenyan and North American faculty members and their colleagues involved with the AMPATH Research Network met last month in Eldoret to work collaboratively to set the partnership’s strategic research vision for the future.
Following a welcome from Principal Robert Tenge from Moi University College of Health Sciences, AMPATH’s Kenyan director of research Dr. Winstone Nyandiko opened the two-day event by focusing on the retreat purpose. He defined strategy as, “a specific pattern of decisions and actions that managers take to achieve superior performance in an organization.” Past strategic action priorities were examined and the results of an internal and external stakeholder survey were also presented by North American associate director of research David Plater.
The leading strength identified by the survey was the research and organization structure and the first set of sessions included presentations on various aspects of this structure including the Research and Sponsored Projects Office (RSPO), Institutional Research and Ethics Committee (IREC), support cores, collaboration structure and financing infrastructure. North American director of research Dr. Kara Wools-Kaloustian and Kenyan associate director of research Jepchirchir (Chiri) Kiplagat were among the leaders presenting.
Attendees were given the opportunity to discuss the challenges and opportunities presented and offer suggestions related to the collaboration structure, financing infrastructure and engagement of schools that are not members of the AMPATH consortium.
The focus of the second day of the retreat was examination of the current research vision, mission, values and goals and group discussions on potential modifications of each. “Although the foundational philosophy of our approach to research remains unchanged, it is important to examine and adjust the components of our research partnership to ensure that we are adapting to the changing needs of Kenya, the overall AMPATH program, and our investigators,” said Wools-Kaloustian. “The revisions proposed by the participants were insightful and allow us to more accurately convey our plans for the future.” she continued.
Following the discussion, the updated strategic plan includes:
Vision: A vibrant, world-class, Kenyan-led community of researchers engaged in the continuous improvement of health globally.
Mission: Guided by the principle of leading with care, we work in partnership to develop local research talent and to identify, develop and disseminate relevant and timely information to improve the health of underserved populations.
In our work, we will embrace:
• Service with humility
• A spirit of collaboration and partnership
• Integrity in relationships
• Mutual respect and mutual benefit in organizational partnerships
• Efforts to eliminate health disparities
• A sustainable infrastructure for research
Over the next 3 years, we will:
1. Strengthen development of a well-resourced and sustainable infrastructure for research that enables the efficient conduct of high-quality research.
2. Increase the number of successful independent investigators working in collaborative, interdisciplinary research teams by providing better access to high-quality training and mentorship.
3. Enhance supportive, research-intensive cultures within the schools and departments of all AMPATH partners.
4. Accelerate growth in relevant, high-yield research initiatives that will improve policy and strengthen the health systems and communities we serve including biomedical innovations, health economics/equity, population health, informatics, and implementation science research.
5. Incorporate research into ongoing efforts to expand AMPATH innovations to additional underserved populations outside Kenya.
The next step in the strategic planning process will be to develop a work plan to achieve the strategic planning goals identified. Comments or questions on the revised vision, mission, values, and goals can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.