Eastern Visayas Health Research and Development Consortium- Leyte
Best Practice Focus Area/s
This is a GBPR finalist entry
The practice unique to the Eastern Visayas Health Research and Development Consortium (EVHRDC) is called “Pioneering Public-Private Partnership Towards Sustainable Eastern Visayas Health Research & Innovation (4Ps TSEVHRI)”. This strategy enables the consortium to conduct activities needed to generate more health-related proposals, such as live-in training on Basic Research Methods (BRM) and Research Proposal Enhancement Workshops (RPEWs). The partnership of the Department of Health (DOH) EVCHD and DOST Regional Office (RO) VIII with the rest of EVHRDC’s member institutions significantly contributed to more research activities, which resulted in the highest number of consortium-funded health research based on the Regional Unified Health Research Agenda (RUHRA) compared with other Regional Health Research and Development Consortiums (RHRDCs). Adhering to the EVHRDC‘s vision as a transformative consortium, the consortium developed and disseminated evidence-informed policies adequately. These include the policy note “Improving Sanitary Conditions and Food Handler Practices Among School Canteens in Eastern Visayas” and a policy brief titled “The Seasonal Pattern of Occurrence of Aedes Aegypti by Larvitrap Surveillance,” which were based on the results of EVHRDC-funded research.
Background and Problem
In Region VIII, an increasing number of health research proposals are submitted to the consortium for funding consideration per year based on the number of proposals reviewed by the consortium’s RMC and ERC. There is also an increasing number of EVHRDC member institutions. The consortium’s series of activities, particularly to address the training needs of researchers, continue to increase every year to capacitate them further. When a researcher submits a capsule proposal identified with the region’s health priorities, the researcher is invited to attend a live-in Basic Research Methods (BRM) training. The researcher is endorsed to several Research Proposal Enhancement Workshops (RPEWs) until the paper becomes a full-blown proposal ready for funding.
The ExeCom, as the overall governing body of the consortium, discusses all administrative and operational concerns. The RMC meets to discuss affairs concerning planned, ongoing and concluding research projects. The consortium also has six (6) committees, meeting at least once every quarter. The ERC reviews research proposals and ensures that research in the region follows international and national guidelines, local laws, professional conduct and practice standards, community moral values, and needs.
The RUC is in charge of disseminating the research results to stakeholders. The CBC is responsible for building member institutions’ capability to engage in research activities and form institutional partnerships. The SOME handle concerns regarding institutions’ membership, hiring secretarial staff, and selecting committee chairs and members.
Solution and Impact
The consortium’s increasing number of activities, which subsequently increases in the number of research proposals for funding, has posed a challenge for the consortium. Moreover, the number of representatives from member institutions that comprise the different committees is also increasing. Thus, more workforce support is needed under the secretariat. Although the DOST-PCHRD provides funds for the consortium’s operation and research grants, the increasing demand for research funding has prompted the consortium to develop a strategy to address this challenge.
Later, the funds were downloaded every year to DOST-RO VIII, where the EVHRDC Secretariat is lodged. Both DOH-EVCHD and DOST-PCHRD now fund proposals submitted to the EVHRDC. Together with member institutions, all consortium activities are strongly collaborated by DOH-EVCHD and DOST-RO VIII. Both offices share the operational expenses in addition to PCHRD’s fund.
The number of consortium activities increased dramatically in 2015 after the DOH-EVCHD began funding research studies. This further strengthened and sustained the collaboration and cooperation among member agencies and stakeholders. The different committees began working together toward one goal: to help researchers fund their studies and advocate and support the health research culture in the region. Every year, the consortium conducts more activities to reach its goals.
Since there were more activities to help researchers generate capsules and full-blown proposals, the number of proposals reviewed increased yearly. The consortium received fewer proposals in 2014 after super typhoon Yolanda hit the Region in November 2013. However, the consortium remained resilient, like the people of Region VIII, and even intensified efforts to call for proposals to receive and fund more health research. In 2015, a few years after the 4Ps TSEVHRI was implemented, RMC and ERC showed an increasing trend in the number of proposals reviewed.
The EVHRDC has seen an increase in the number of proposals funded starting in 2015 due to the strong partnership between DOH-EVCHD and EVHRDC and more funds allocated for health research. As the number of staff, activities, and proposals reviewed increased after DOH-EVCHD provided counterpart funds, the EVHRDC attained one goal: to mobilize and complement health research resources to generate knowledge and products in health. They have conducted more training to capacitate regional researchers further, thus helping them develop more health-related proposals. As a result, another goal was to increase research productivity aligned with the priority program.
Aside from the counterpart funds for research operations shared by the two agencies, DOH-EVCHD downloads separate funds purely for research grants and hiring additional personnel to support EVHRDC operations, increasing the consortium fund base.
- From 2010 to 2014, EVHRDC had only one project staff who acted as the secretariat and the Project Coordinator. With the counterpart funds provided by DOH-EVCHD to the consortium, one (1) additional staff was hired to ensure that the consortium had enough staffing to conduct all its activities.
- From 2011 to 2019, the consortium funded twenty-five (25) health research with total funding of Php 6,567,085.00 from PCHRD and Php 8,903,373.80 from DOH. It is one of the two (2) consortia with its Manual of Operations (MOO).
- In 2018, the Consortium also received awards during the 12th PNHRS Week Celebration, namely:
- Best Consortium Poster –1st place
- CBC Best Practice Poster Contest –3rd place
- Oral Contest- Professional Category –3rd place
- This best practice started in 2011 when DOH-EVCHD provided counterpart funds for EVHRDC to fund approved health research in the region
- Aligned with the Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Strategic objective, which is to increase the financial and other resource commitment for health research, DOH-EVCHD, with its initiative as the consortium chair, allocated funds for research activities and research grants starting in 2011.
- The EVHRDC participated in the 13th Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Week Celebration on 13-16 August 2019, at Limketkai Luxe Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City, with the theme, “Achieving Health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through Research and Innovation,” where EVHRDC bagged home three different awards, as follows:
- 3-Minute Pitch to Policy Makers –3rd place
- Oral Research Contest (Student Category) – 2nd place
- Consortium Poster Exhibit Contest –2nd place
- The EVHRDC participated in the First Health Research Forum for Action in the Visayas on 25-27 September 2019, at Eon Centennial Resort Hotel & Waterpark, Alta Tierra Village, Jaro, Iloilo City, with the theme “Going LOCAL for UHC: Realizing Universal Health Care through Evidence-Informed Service Delivery.” There were two (2) competitions, and EVHRDC received the first place award for both, as follows:
- 3-Minute Pitch Contest –1st place
- Poster Exhibit Contest –1st place
- As of 2020, the consortium maintains four (4) detailed staff for the secretariat and is assigned to handle different committees
- The EVHRDC Ethics Review Committee (ERC) was awarded Level II accreditation by the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB) in 2016 and has already renewed its accreditation from May 29, 2020, to May 28, 2023. The ERC also has its Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and office, wherein all research protocols reviewed by ERC are coordinated.