REACHOUT is a complex interdisciplinary project involving multiple partner organisations and specialisms. Good project management, communication, and monitoring are essential to maximise the impact of the scientific research.
Major REACHOUT project decisions are made by a project management committee that represents different aspects of the project work and the countries involved. The project is managed by a project coordinator, supported by an experienced project management officer.
The project management committee has overall responsibility for project planning and decision making; setting timetables and research priorities. The committee reflects the interdisciplinary nature of the project and represents a balance of expertise and geographical locations.
The project coordinator has overall responsibility for coordinating the project. This includes managing the budget and liaising with the donor, as well as overall scientific leadership to maximise collaboration between the project members and with other research projects.
The project management office provides day-to-day administrative support to the project coordinator as well as specialist liaison with project scientists and participating institutions. The project management office also monitors research activities, manages staff, and provides intellectual property expertise to ensure the project develops according to agreed objectives.
There are REACHOUT work package managers responsible for monitoring progress in their areas, reporting to the project management committee, and delivering specific aspects of project work on time. There is one work package manager for each of the six countries [add link to the country pages] in which the project is working. These six work package managers also liaise with their country advisory groups – see below.
There is a country advisory group in each of the six countries [add link to the country pages] taking part in the REACHOUT project. These advisory groups are supported by partner institutions but comprise independent senior academics, policy makers, and representatives of local organisations involved in healthcare delivery. The involvement of country advisory groups is seen as essential to encouraging advocacy and translating research findings into effective country-wide policy.
In addition to internal project monitoring REACHOUT has convened an independent international expert review group comprising specialists in relevant healthcare fields including equity, health economics, and maternal health. The purpose of the expert review group is to critically review all aspects of the project deliverables and guide the project on how project results and insights can help inform healthcare best practice in other settings.
Dr Shenglan Tang is Professor of Medicine and Global Health at Duke Global Health Institute. He has been appointed as Associate Director of Duke Global Health Institute for China Initiatives, and will be Director of the new Global Health Research Center at Duke Kunshan University in China. Tang has more than 20 years experience undertaking research on health systems reform, disease control and maternal and child health in China and other countries, and has provided consultancy services on health systems strengthening to many international organisations and governments of developing countries. In January 2012, Tang came to Duke from the UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, based in Geneva, where he was Unit Leader for TB/HIV and Health Systems. He holds several appointments from leading universities, including Fudan University, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Chongqing Medical University and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom.
Dr Claire Genton is a senior researcher at the Global Health Unit of the Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services. She is also director of the Norwegian branch of the Nordic Cochrane Centre and an editor for the Cochrane Consumers and Communication Review Group. Her research interests are largely within the fields of implementation and health systems research, systematic review methodology, and methods for disseminating healthcare evidence to decision makers. She is currently involved in a number of projects where close-to-community health services play a part, including the development of systematic reviews of both quantitative and qualitative research evidence concerning the use of lay or community health workers, and the development of methods for increasing health literacy among children and journalists in low and middle income countries.
Professor Barbara McPake is a health economist specialising in health policy and health systems research. She has 25 years experience in these areas based in three UK university departments. McPake is currently Director, at the Institute for International Health and Development, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh and one of two Research Directors of ReBUILD a UK Department for International Development (DFID) funded Research Programme Consortium on health systems. She was formerly (2001-2006) Programme Director for the Health Systems Development Knowledge Programme (also funded by DFID). McPake has extensive international experience in health systems research and policy analysis and advice to UN agencies and low and middle income country governments.
Shams El Arifeen
Professor Shams El Arifeen has 25 years of experience in child and neonatal health and health systems research. He is the Director of the Child Health Unit of ICDDR,B, Bangladesh and a Professor of the James P Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University and coordinates the course on Epidemiology. He worked for many years in government health services and still maintains a link with the government in monitoring and evaluating health interventions. El Arifeen contributed to the 2003 Lancet Series on Child Survival and is currently joint Director of the Transform Nutrition consortium.
Dr Rene Loewenson taught at the University of Zimbabwe Medical School for 10 years in the 1980s, where she also worked on primary health care services, nutrition, public health and occupational health improvements. In the 1990s she set up and worked in a health department in the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, and initiated and co-ordinated an African regional programme on health, safety and environment in the Organization of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU). In the mid 1990s she set up the Training and Research Support Centre (TARSC), a not for profit working mainly in east and Southern Africa to support through research, training and policy analysis an effective civil society-state interface on health and social policy. She co-ordinates the Equity Watch Cluster and secretariat in the Regional Network on Equity in Health in east and Southern Africa (EQUINET). EQUINET carries out research, capacity support and policy dialogue within professional, civil society, state and academic institutions at country and regional level in east and southern Africa.
Charles Collins is trained in social sciences and has worked at universities in Colombia, South America. He returned to the UK in 1985 to work for the Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development, University of Leeds in postgraduate teaching, research and consultancy. Collins’ work has focused on health systems in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Since 2002 he has worked independently for a number of institutions and he is an Honorary Reader at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. His interest in REACHOUT comes from his focus on developing means of health systems strengthening and equity.
Hilary Standing is a social scientist and social anthropologist. She has worked extensively in India and Bangladesh. She specialises in health and development and has worked on health systems issues in several countries. Her areas of specialisation include health systems analysis; gender and health equity and qualitative methodologies for applied and intervention research. From 2008-10, she was based in Dhaka as a visiting professor at the BRAC University James P Grant School of Public Health and Adjunct Scientist, ICDDR,B. She was Director of a DFID funded Research Programme Consortium on Realising Rights: Improving Sexual and Reproductive Health for Poor and Vulnerable Populations (2005-10), involving six partners in five countries. She is a researcher on the Johns Hopkins University-led DFID Research Programme Consortium on Future Health Systems. Until 2010, she was a professorial fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. She is now a visiting fellow and Emeritus Professor.
This project is funded by the European Union.