The Impact Initiative has closed. This website has now been archived and will no longer be updated.
The Impact Initiative has closed. This website has now been archived and will no longer be updated.

Pregnancy termination trajectories in Zambia: maximising research impact

Research Partners:

Photo: Jessica Lea/DfID/Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0

Show map

Principal Investigator: Ernestina Elizabeth Coast. Lead Organisation: London School of Economics & Pol Sci

Co-investigators: Bornwell Sikateyo; Juliette Mutheu; Bellington Vwalika; Rose Ndakala Oronje; Eliya Msiyaphazi Zulu; Diana Warira Njeri; Susan Fairley Murray

Unsafe abortion is a significant preventable cause of maternal mortality and morbidity. In Zambia it remains a major challenge, despite legalised abortion and a favourable policy framework. This project aims to maximise the impact of research that has investigated the socio-economic costs of unsafe and safe abortion for women, their households and the Zambian health system. Using the findings from this research, the impact maximisation project will conduct dissemination activities in Zambia to engage with health professionals involved in providing or referring for abortion-related care, international NGOs involved in abortion care delivery and members of civil society and parliament, in addition to international academics and advocacy NGOs. Methods include:

  • development of web-based materials for women seeking information about abortion and phone-in radio shows on 'pregnancy crises'
  • capacity development of journalists in reporting research on abortion
  • workshops for and presentations to health professionals
  • focused liaison with INGO research teams and peer-to-peer research networking events
  • tailored one-to-one briefing meetings with members of civil society and Parliament
  • Social Science Cafes to communicate research findings and facilitate uptake among invited audiences of policymakers, service providers and journalists.

Further Resources:

This Impact Maximisation proposal significantly extends and deepens the research beneficiaries described in the original research proposal to include:

i) Zambian girls and women who might need to access abortion care services

ii) health professionals (nurses, doctors) involved in providing, or making referrals to, abortion care services

iii) international NGOs involved in abortion care service delivery in Zambia

iv) members of Zambian civil society and Parliament.


In our Pathways to Impact document we describe in detail, for each of these 4 research beneficiary groups:

- impact activities to date

- new Impact Maximisation activities

- the involvement of any intermediary organisations or networks

- short-term outputs (during the funded Impact Maximisation phase)

- longer-term outputs (after the end of the funded Impact Maximisation phase)

- monitoring and evaluation of each activity - project team member with responsibility for delivering individual impact activity

- resource (including training) requirements of each impact activity


Our impact activities, segmented by research beneficiary, build on the expertise of team members:

i) Adolescents and women:

- Development and testing of appropriate and accessible web-based materials (Mwense)

- Phone-in radio shows on "Pregnancy crises" (Mwense)

- Capacity development of Zambian journalists in reporting research on abortion (Oronje, Mutheu)

ii) Health professionals:

- Audience-specific workshops for nurses and doctors (Vwalika, Mwense)

- Presentations at events for health professionals (Vwalika, Sikateyo)

iii) NGOs (Zambian and Intrernational) involved in abortion care services:

- Peer-to-peer research networking events in Zambia and internationally (Coast, Sikateyo, Hukin)

- Focused liaison with INGO research teams, including those with related research elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa (Coast, Murray, Hukin)

iv) Members of Zambian civil society and Parliament

- One-to-one briefing meetings with information tailored specific to their needs (Sikateyo)

- Capacity development in elites communication (Zulu, Oronje)


Social Science Cafes

We will also host two Social Science Cafes in Lusaka. This is a research communication technique to communicate research findings, and facilitate research uptake, to specially invited audiences of elites that will involve a mix of policy makers, service providers and journalists. Social Science Cafes have been used successfully by team members (Mutheu, Oronje, Zulu) elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa to communicate research findings. The first Social Science Café will be facilitated by experienced team members, and will also serve to capacity build other team members to deliver the second Café. By selectively inviting some of those individuals who will have attended our audience-specific workshops, alongside other stakeholders, we will be able to stimulate discussion amongst participants, rather than a undirectional flow of information from the research team to an audience.


Impact evaluation

We will collect data in order to monitor and evaluate the research uptake from the impact activities. One team member (Hukin, with oversight from Coast) will have responsibility for the design, development, maintenance and analyses of all data collected as part of the monitoring and evaluation of our impact activities. It is anticipated that the Impact Maximisation activities will produce:

- pre- and post-test evaluations of web-based resources by Zambian adolescents and women

- web analytics data (including data on re-blogging and re-tweeting content)

- media content analysis, including from the planned radio phone-in shows

- requests for information about research findings, by audience type

- workshop assessments by audience (midwives, clinicians, journalists)

- analysis of discussions generated by Social Science Cafes

Primary theme: 
Grant Reference: 
Project Status: 
Grant Category: 
Research Grant
Lead Organisation Department: 
LSE Health and Social Care
Fund Start Date: 
June 1st, 2014
Fund End Date: 
August 31st, 2015
Fund Currency Code: 
Fund Value: