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Turning evidence into action

The Karamoja Resilience Support Unit (KRSU) provides a range of technical, coordination and policy support to partners in the Karamoja region of northeast Uganda, with the aim of increasing local resilience and economic development. This work is often based on studies and assessments of development and humanitarian programmes, and is followed up with briefings or other activities in order to translate the evidence and knowledge into practice. However, the impact of KRSU’s work is not always well understood or documented so, in 2022, WRENmedia was asked to develop a series of four briefs to detail how their research has been put into action.

Livestock ownership has long been a critical food and income source for a large number of households in Karamoja. © FAO/Luis Tato

To gain an understanding of the topic and collate essential background information, WRENmedia reviewed key documents and project reports. Interviews with key informants were then conducted via online calls to gather impactful quotes and garner more detailed information. The four topics covered: 1) the impact of KRSU’s pastoralism and policy training course; 2) the use of participatory epidemiology as an approach to investigate why malnutrition interventions were not producing the desired outcomes; 3) research to explore the challenges faced by those working in the livestock sector, including veterinary professionals; and 4) research to investigate the issues and approaches that can be taken to tackle alcoholism in Karamoja.

It is vital that the impact of KRSU’s work is documented to demonstrate how it is making a concrete difference to the lives of people in Karamoja. WRENmedia therefore worked in close collaboration with KRSU to edit and refine each brief and create an eye-catching four-page design template with dramatic photos. The briefs were crafted to be easily digestible for non-specialists, whilst also highlighting how many different organisations had used the research and training course, and how widespread the impact of KRSU’s work had been. A set of key messages were also provided on the cover of each brief for readers to gain a quick overview. Much of KRSU’s research has influenced policy in the region, from helping to tackle alcoholism, to strengthening animal health services, and exploring the causes of malnutrition and steps that can be taken to combat it. The research has also been incorporated into university curriculums, and used to raise awareness about issues vital to Karamoja with key policymakers and donors.

“Many thanks for all your patience in pulling this together. Hope to work with you soon in other similar assignments,” Mesfin Ayele, KRSU Chief of Party

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