Population Council is an international NGO with its headquarters in New York. They conduct research about critical health and development issues in 50+ countries. Population Council Kenya is currently implementing the FGM Data Hub as part of the Africa-Led Movement (ALM) to End FGM, the flagship programme of the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. The role of the FGM Data Hub is to provide robust data, timely analyses, practical monitoring tools, and responsive technical assistance to inform the ALM programme.
Despite two decades of intensified efforts to conduct global research on FGM/C and its elimination, there’s insufficient understanding of what’s working and what’s not. In addition, there seems to be a disconnect between research and programming. Population Council Kenya conducted a global review on the effectiveness of FGM/C interventions. Building on the identified research gaps, a research agenda co-creation process was organized to prioritize research questions and identify key research areas geared towards acceleration in the elimination of FGM/C.
The plan included an expert prioritization meeting, where 20 to 30 FGM/C experts from different backgrounds (researchers, program staff, and policymakers) were invited to participate. The Population Council Kenya reached out to us with the request to provide technical guidance for the project team and inform the development of a global research agenda. Per their request, we contributed to the final participant selection and meeting agenda design. We also helped develop a methodology for the prioritization process, including a system to score and rank the identified research questions. Additionally, we facilitated several sessions during the two-day meeting.
We considered the state of evidence, identified key research questions to be addressed over the next five years, and formulated a list of recommendations and best practices to enhance the use of evidence in FGM/C programming. Based on our contribution and that of the attending experts, a global research agenda for the FGM/C sector was developed as a joint effort by UNFPA, UNICEF, and WHO. We were delighted to have contributed to this 5-year global research strategy!