Jimma University in collaboration with Brown University in the USA has been conducting a decade and half long Longitudinal Family Survey of Youth focusing on adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health, nutrition, mental health, and the transition into adulthood. Several professional from JU and BU were actively involved in research and publication of the findings out of which 38 policy briefs and many more research outcomes are published in international and reputable journals.
In an effort to create a national policy forum with the most influential governmental and nongovernmental actors and stakeholders in the field JU has organized a half a day policy dialogue meeting on 13th of December, 2017 under the theme “Advancing adolescent health, nutrition and wellbeing in Ethiopia” at Capital Hotel in Addis Ababa. Relevant ministerial bodies such as the Ministry of Health and Education and other government institutions and Nongovernmental organizations that are closely engaged in the field have participated in the dialogue meeting.
The guest of honor of the event, Prof. Taye Tolemariam, V/P for Academics of JU underlined that the Ethiopian government has been undertaking health sector transformation program including areas such as universal access to primary health care, information revolution, evidence based practice …etc. The importance of high quality multidisciplinary research based evidence is a critical input in order to realize such priority policy areas and the longitudinal family survey of youth, which was carried out over the last 15 years by Jimma University and Brown University is a best instance.
Unlike other conferences, according to him, the purpose of the policy dialogue meeting is to learn about key findings of the Jimma Longitudinal Family Youth Survey, and to create a platform for stakeholders from different organizations to discuss on the future adolescent and youth policy and research needs and lessons. Beyond, dissemination of key findings such dialogues help to identify areas that need further explorations and facilitate evidence based decision making. Such discussion also helps to identify challenges, missed opportunities and define broad consensus to outline our national priorities.
Papers were presented by the researchers by way of reporting key research findings from the Jimma Longitudinal Family Survey of Youth and recommendations were forwarded to policy makers and stakeholders.
Finally the participants appreciated the initiative taken by JU and BU in conducting the researches and disseminating the findings to key policy making and implementing institutions and they emphasized that such institutions should join hands in order to incorporate the findings while setting policy directions for the future.