Work Packages

WP1: Project management
Coordination and management of the HEALTHY FUTURES project takes place through WP1, led by AquaTT (Ireland), who specialise in EC project management and will support the project coordinator in the day to day tasks of managing the project. Advice on protocols for the collection, collation and management of project data is also provided through this WP, as are the risk, quality assurance and evaluation plans.

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WP2: Disease information and database construction
WP2 is co-led by TCD (Ireland), ILRI (Kenya), NUR (Rwanda) and ICTP (Italy). This WP, the largest in the project in terms of person months committed, aims to put in place a project database comprising information relating to the emergence and outbreaks of the three target VBDs in the study area and drawn from a range of primary and secondary sources. This information includes historical, socio-economic, migration, settlement and conflict data; earth sciences data; direct climate observations and the results of regional downscaling of global reanalyses; and information on disease-environment relationships. The project database (information platform) will be hosted online and made available to stakeholders in the research.

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WP3: Environment-disease transmission relationships & modelling
Co-led by TRAC Plus (Rwanda), KEMRI (Kenya) and UDUR (UK), WP3 will carry out field-based evaluations of data compiled as part of this WP, and of WPs 2 and 4, in order to clarify parameters/processes in existing dynamical disease models. These models – along with statistical multivariate regression models for infection rates of malaria, RVF and schistosomiasis, will be developed and deployed in WP3. Outputs from these models will be input to WP4 and used to produce disease risk maps for present day conditions and future scenarios of climate and socio-economical trends.

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WP4: Disease risk and vulnerability mapping
ILRI (Kenya), NUR (Rwanda), PLUS (Austria) and SMHI (Sweden) co-lead WP4, which operates at the nexus between WPs 2 (historical disease drivers), 3 (disease dynamics and modelling) and 5 (decision-support systems). In WP4 spatially-referenced datasets about historical disease drivers and occurrence (collected in WP2), along with knowledge and models of dynamics of the three target VBDs (WP3), will be used to produce spatial assessments of the risks of, and vulnerability to, past, present and future disease morbidity and related impacts. These projections will consider a range of possible future climate changes, associated hydrological responses, evolving socio-economic conditions and shifting land use patterns. The assessments will inform WP5, by providing content for Decision Support tools and guidance on critical regions where such systems are most needed. In keeping with the overall research design, WP4 will focus on two scales, the regional scale covering the proposed five country region of eastern Africa, designed to identify vulnerable regions, and a more local scale focused on critical regions, where actual adaptation strategies will be tested.

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WP5: Adaption and Decision Support tools
WP5, led by SEI (Tanzania and Kenya) and responding to input from stakeholders and decision-makers and the  results of WPs 4 (spatial assessments of the risks of and vulnerability to disease morbidity and related impacts) and 6 (information on stakeholders), will identify and deploy the most appropriate environmental change adaptation strategies and Decision Support tools for adoption in the focus areas. As part of this, the  WP will also facilitate workshops where decision-makers will review the results of the project and make enhancements to an existing Decision Support tool for RVF, developed by stakeholders following a recent outbreak of this disease in Kenya. A novel component of this WP will be use of a prototype Adaptation Decision Explorer (ADx) which combines several Decision Support tools in the one package.

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WP6: Stakeholder engagement and empowerment through sharing of knowledge and training
This WP, led by TCD (Ireland), is concerned with the engagement of stakeholders in the research, the effective dissemination of research findings, and the training of postgraduate research students funded through HEALTHY FUTURES. An important element of the latter will be knowledge- haring workshops aimed at exchanging knowledge with stakeholders, improving existing generic skills, and at developing life-lasting research networks.  Dissemination of findings will take place through several fora, including two international meetings organised towards the end of the research project. The first of these will be a themed session on Environmental change and health for the 8th European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health (ECTMIH). The second will be an Africa-EU workshop, organised by NUR, Rwanda, focusing on linking climate change simulations with health (adaptation and policy) experts, specifically on the three VBDs targeted by HEALTHY FUTURES, with a view to translating the generic approach adopted and research findings generated to other regions (e.g. other parts of Africa, and parts of Europe) deemed to be at risk, and also to other diseases. Other candidate diseases include Blue tongue and West Nile Virus.

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WP7: Enhancing research synergy and application
WP7, co-led by NUR (Rwanda) and Aquatt (Ireland), will promote synergy, cross-fertilization, networking, and coordination with other climate and health-related research projects funded by the EU FP and other non-EU stakeholders and researchers internationally and regionally. The WP will also provide oversight, results review and evaluation, assurance of quality-control, guidance on next steps and use of best practices including highest compliance with ethical guidelines. The WP will operate mainly through an Expert Review Panel, chaired by an expert in the field and comprising four other members who are not part of the HEALTHY FUTURES project (two of these will be representatives from the ECDC and the EAC secretariat). The Expert Review Panel will also include three members of the HEALTHY FUTURES project, at least one of whom will be based in Africa and one of whom will be Europe-based. The reason for including three members of the project management team on the Expert Review Panel is to ensure some continuity – and smooth information flows - between the two groups. The aim is also to have a gender balance on the Panel.

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