How do communities the project engages with make informed decisions about our work?

Posted 24th March 2023 by Naima Sykes

I’m pleased to share a new animation video which explains how communities the project engages with make informed decisions about our work.

Stakeholder engagement is at the core of Target Malaria’s work. Our engagement is aimed at ensuring that communities where we work can make informed decisions about project activities that take place in their village or neighbourhood. The goal of our engagement is to build an environment that promotes and facilitates dialogue and consultation with stakeholders regarding the project’s goals, and to ensure that the potential beneficiaries of the technology, and those impacted by our work, are at the heart of decision-making.

Communities take part in our scientific activities, such as mosquito collections, and in monitoring the progress of our work. When a new phase of our work begins, residents are informed (through the use of presentations with visuals, theatre plays, meetings, broadcast and radio programs), asked whether they agree to our team carrying out planned activities, and we seek agreement repeatedly over time to ensure communities are only asked to support specific activities for a limited period.

Focusing on the communities that might benefit from the technology and are directly affected by the research activities is an ethical principle of our engagement strategy, and we consider their specific context, culture and preferences when co-developing agreement models. The project uses ethically designed engagement best practices (overseen by institutional ethics committees) to empower these communities to make the most informed decisions about the project’s work and its activities, as we believe that engaging stakeholders can improve our working processes and the technology we aim to develop.

The objective of the animation video was to create an accessible and engaging summary of how the communities we work in can make informed decisions. Clear and easy-to-understand communication around the science, regulatory affairs and stakeholder engagement work that takes place within Target Malaria remains a priority for the project, and we look forward to developing future videos such as these.

The video was produced in collaboration with Ryan Carter Images and Kikoto Animation studio.