Wellcome Trust, a London-based charity focused on health research, is adopting an increasingly global approach to health challenges to improve health outcomes and save lives.
This means expanding funding and research into new regions. Accordingly, Wellcome aims to expand its work in Africa, and South Africa specifically, with respect to funding research, leading policy and advocacy campaigns, and building partnerships that will improve health outcomes. With this in mind, Wellcome contracted Genesis Analytics to provide a landscape mapping and analysis of important South African actors in health research, funding, interventions and advocacy to inform Wellcome’s South African policy strategy.
South Africa is a prime location for Wellcome’s support given the country’s world-class health and science research, unique health challenges (most notably, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis), and political influence across the continent. In particular, Wellcome aims to pursue activities in South Africa that support the trust’s four global priority areas: infectious diseases, climate change and health, mental health, and discovery research.
To ensure that Wellcome collaborates with South African partners in an effective and respectful manner, the trust needed a thorough understanding of local perspectives, circumstances and ways of working. Accordingly, the purpose of this project was to evaluate:
- How Wellcome’s four priority areas play out in Africa and South Africa particularly, how local actors perceive these areas, related interventions or activities, and gaps in capacity for addressing these areas.
- How South African actors perceive Wellcome and/or foreign donors in the health and scientific research space more broadly.
- How influential South African actors are in multinational African organisations or as regards other African governments, particularly with regard to the potential for helping to shape health and research policies across the continent.
- How South Africa conducts itself on the world stage, including the role, unique perspectives and championed causes that South Africa brings to the African Union, United Nations and G20, among others.
- Which South African entities (especially government actors, civil society organisations and/or consultancies) could be appropriate, effective and sustainable partners for Wellcome, and how.
- How decisions are made within potential partner entities and whether such processes would boost or hinder partnership with Wellcome.
Genesis Analytics produced a thorough mapping of stakeholders and analysis of the political economy for Wellcome. It also hosted an information session and strategy workshop for relevant Wellcome representatives.