Define local perceptions on disease problem, evidence and decision-making
Activity 1. Participatory modeling
The LEAD Project facilitated the participatory modeling method Participatory Systems Mapping (hyperlink to CECAN) (PSM) in a series of workshops in Uganda and Malawi. Participants, including health practitioners from the village, district, and national levels in the public and private sectors, developed complex systems maps around schistosomiasis transmission.
Activity 2. Engagement activities
Following the workshops, three engagement activities have been established to foster communication and involvement with the LEAD Project. This includes: co-authored publications and assistance with publication interests of participants; an online community forum for engagement with components of Workstream 2; and a follow-up meeting with participants near the end of the project.
Integrate local perceptions and evidentiary needs into the development of evidence
Activity 3. Assembly of available evidence for a public database
The systems maps produced in the workshops went through a minimal cleaning and normalisation process to maintain the integrity of participant input and minimise our biases. These maps were then synthesised to prioritise factors and develop a list of attributes directly and indirectly related to transmission of schistosomiasis. Finally, web scraping and content mining is being used to assemble a database of factors, to be made publicly available at the end of 2020.
Activity 4. Computational modeling
Through the workshops, we have been able to gather information about the evidence gaps for individuals working in a variety of positions in the health sector. Based on feedback and discussions with participants, the LEAD project is developing spatial agent-based models fit for purpose, e.g. to facilitate intervention effectiveness evaluation for resource allocation. This includes a user-friendly interface adapted to the needs of public health practitioners.