The symbiotic nature of health programs across the East Africa region presents both challenges and opportunities. Strong health systems and outcomes in one partner state contributes to another’s improvement, while poor health systems and outcomes can threaten its neighbors.
A regional approach is well recognized as a valuable and efficient path to support individual partner state health priorities as well as to scale up improved health outcomes. Regional Intergovernmental Organizations (RIGOs) play a key role in achieving improved health outcomes across the region by promoting collaboration and serving as a knowledge hub for partner states. Inhe East Africa region, which is comprised of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, the East African Community plays this important convening role.
Despite the strong efforts of the RIGOs to coordinate and harmonize across the region, challenges remain with systematically collecting and sharing relevant and usable knowledge among partner states to improve their health programs. Partner states face challenges in accessing strategic information and knowledge from local and international researchers due to limitations of current sharing tools and strategies. The absence of a harmonized approach to using global and regional learning serves to weaken individual partner state programs, their advocacy agendas, and program implementation. Knowledge management is a powerful tool to address these challenges.