Research project The main objective of this programme is to build a culture of rigorous operational and implementational research in Tigray Region, in northern Ethiopia, as a natural partnership between Mekelle University's Department of Public Health and the Tigray Regional Health Bureau.
Collaboration with Umeå University in Sweden will foster this process, providing additional external expertise as well as professional development opportunities for the Tigrean team. This will take place as the Millennium Development Goals reach their conclusion in 2015 and the global community possibly sets new targets for key health outcomes. Specifically, this collaboration will address four key areas of health in Tigray: 1. implementing bottom-up approaches to measuring maternal, newborn and child mortality 2. evaluating malaria control strategies through a health systems lens 3. monitoring the effectiveness of the new Health Extension Worker and Family Folder programmes on monitoring population health 4. assessing progress towards MDG outcomes from a health equity perspective. The significance of the collaboration is twofold. Firstly it will contribute directly to health in Tigray, since the close partnership between the University and the Health Bureau ensures that evidence-based findings can readily be translated into policy decisions. Secondly it will create an on-going culture of practical research in the Region, which will provide a long-term basis for evidence-based health care delivery.