“The best way to make changes in a society is through education.”

This philosophy drives LIN to commit itself to provide ongoing support and development for capacity building in Malawi. Building on the existing academic collaboration network, we signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Livingstonia (UNILIA) Department of Public Health on 8th September to foster the collaboration framework between two parties. LIN and UNILIA are aiming to strengthen research capacity, enhance staff development and promote health profession education and training in Malawi.

University of Livingstonia is a Christian, private university of the Synod of Livingstonia of the Church of Central African Presbyterian (C.C.A.P) in the Northern Region of Malawi. It has three Campuses, Laws Campus is located in Rumphi District at Livingstonia, Ekwendeni Campus and Lusangasi Campus which is located in Mzimba District. The collaboration between LIN and UNILIA is mainly, but not limited, with UNILIA’s Public Health Department. The Public Health Department is one of the department of the Faculty of Applied Science at Laws Campus and was established in 2013 to support the government in providing professionals to respond to health needs of Malawians.

LIN and UNILIA’s collaboration on research and capacity building was initiated in 2016. When LIN’s International Advisor, Professor Gunnar Bjune, visited us in Malawi, he gave a lecture on implementation research to the faculty and students from UNILIA through the links of our Malawi board member, Professor Yohane Nyasulu. The Public Health Department from the university has shown great interest to further develop research capacity and improve health system outcomes through implementation research activities. Since then, the faculty has jointly developed a protocol on youth-friendly health services at David Gordon Memorial (DGM) Hospital; and one of LIN’s staff has begun supporting the teaching activities for the Epidemiology course.

With mutual understanding and the common goal to make changes in Malawi, the MoU was initiated and further discussed between the managements of LIN and UNILIA. On the signing date, the Country Representative of LIN – Ms. Hsin-yi Lee and the acting Vice Chancellor of UNILIA – Dr. Timothy Nyasulu signed the MoU under the witness of members from both institutions. The team consists of LIN’s Technical Advisors Professor Gunnar Bjune, Mr. Joseph Wu, and lecturer from the Department of Public Health Ms. Mary Sibande.

Under the framework of this MoU, LIN and UNILIA aims to strengthen the link to international research networks, foster implementation research activities that will promote locally-driven and relevant research that will improve health service delivery and health outcomes in the community, and formalize student attachment and training programs (UNILIA students will be attached to LIN for internship; international students may also be attached to UNILIA for research activities).

If any research institution or organization is interested in engaging with this newly formulate implementation research network, please feel free to contact us!