The African Population and Health Research Center was on 26 January ranked among some of the world’s leading think tanks and research institutions, due largely to its continued commitment to promoting an evidence-informed approach to policymaking in global health.
The rankings were generated by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program of the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania and released in a report here.
APHRC was the top-ranked African think tank for Domestic Health Policy, and one of just two Africa-based institutions included in the top 30 think tanks whose work informed discourse around Global Health Policy. APHRC was also one of just four African institutions ranked for advocacy work.
“Our inclusion in these global rankings demonstrates that APHRC, which is headquartered in Kenya, has a global reach and our work in translating evidence on health and wellbeing into sound and judicious policy influence is increasingly recognized by our peers,” said APHRC Executive Director Dr. Alex Ezeh. “It also demonstrates that African scholarship, research and thought-leadership is contributing more to global agenda setting – which is great news indeed.”
The Global Go To Think Tank Index is derived from contributions from more than 1,900 institutions and experts around the world; its goal is to increase the profile and performance of think tanks and raise public awareness of the critical role these incubators of knowledge translation play in developing an evidence base for decision-making.
“The policy challenges our societies face are many and require leadership, careful analysis and difficult choices,” Dr. James McGann, who directs the program, said in a foreword to the report. “This is where think tanks must help politicians and policymakers respond in a constructive way to the domestic and foreign challenges we face.”
APHRC’s contributions to global health policy- and decision-making discourse are many and varied, and include current conversations on what Africa’s priorities must be for sexual and reproductive health and rights over the next 15 years.
Last week, the Center co-hosted a regional forum to move countries forward in their efforts to develop and implement inclusive policies to tackle the growing epidemic of non-communicable diseases across sub-Saharan Africa, engaging on topics including the strength of existing anti-tobacco and anti-alcohol legislation and measures that can be taken to coordinate the multiple sectors that have a role in the genesis of the epidemic.
“Now, more than ever, it is clear that Africa is identifying and defining responses to the challenges standing in the way of its economic and social development,” said Dr. Ezeh. “Being considered one of the global leaders in applying evidence to decision-making will embolden APHRC to work more closely with other champions of development solutions for Africa to improve the lives of all Africans.”
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