1. Establishment of the EAHRC
The EAHRC was established by the Heads of State of the EAC Partner States, as stipulated by the Provisions of Article 118 of the Treaty of the establishment of the East African Community.
The EAHRC is a mechanism for making available to the EAC, advice upon all matters of health and health-related research and findings that are necessary for; knowledge generation, technological development, policy formulation, and practice.
It is the principal advisory institution to the EAC on Health Research and Development (R&D).
2. The vision of the EAHRC
The vision of the EAHRC is; a healthy and prosperous community built on evidence-driven health policy and practice, which emanate from high-quality research.
3. The mission of the EAHRC
The Mission of the EAHRC is; to improve the health and well-being of citizens of the Community by generating, accessing, capturing, assessing, synthesizing, sharing, disseminating, and utilising health research and findings, as well as technological development that is suitable and relevant to the Community and its people.
4. Values of the EAHRC
- Unity in diversity
- Allegiance to the EAC ideals
5. Objectives of the EAHRC
The EAHRC is implementing a five-year 2016 – 2021 Strategic Plan that has been developed in line with its mandate, objectives and functions. An interim review of the five-year strategic plan is scheduled after two and a half years, while a new strategic plan is developed for on a cycle of five years.
1. The objective of the Commission is to promote, facilitate, and coordinate the conduct and application of health research for the improvement of health and for the wellbeing of the people of East Africa.
2. The specific objectives for which the Commission is established are to:-
a. Establish research programmes, networks, partnerships and centres of excellence in health research;
b. Establish capacity development and capacity utilisation programmes;
c. Create an environment that is conducive for research, including harmonised regional regulatory affairs and ethics review frameworks in the
d. Establish mechanisms for health research knowledge management;
e. Mobilise resources to support health research for development.
6. The function of the EAHRC
1. The Commission is the principal advisory institution to the Community on all matters related to health and Research and Development (R&D).
2. The functions of the Commission include to: -
a. Ensure the development of comprehensive networks for research linking member institutions.
b. Promote collaborative health research programmes including to: -
i. Strengthen and enhance mechanisms for collaboration in health research in the Partner States and give general direction to the development and
achievement of the objectives of the Commission.
ii. Create and develop collaborative relationships with partners including the private sector and other organisations with similar health and research
iii. Develop centres of excellence in health research in the region.
iv. Play a key liaison role with the national, regional and international health institutions and other collaborating organisations;
v. Establish and maintain a harmonised network of morbidity and mortality registries for all diseases, illnesses and conditions which may occur at the
community, health facility, district, national and regional levels in the Partner States.
vi. Audit research programmes and projects in the region.
c. Facilitate the establishment of safety, quality control, and quality assurance through:-
i. Facilitation, in partnership with ethics bodies in the Partner States, ethical conduct of health research;
ii. Facilitation, in partnership with regulatory authorities in the Partner States, with respect to health research regulatory affairs;
iii. Development, in partnership with relevant national authorities, of criteria for assessing standards and assuring quality of health research in the
region through providing guidelines on mechanisms for quality assurance, self-evaluation, and comparability and interoperability of the health
research criteria and standards in the region.
iv. Development of quality assurance processes in order to achieve and maintain international standards in health research in the region.
v. Help member institutions identify and implement good practices in the conduct and management of health research and utilisation of resources.
d. Promote the synthesis, interpretation, dissemination and utilisation of health research findings.
e. Promote the application of knowledge from research to strengthen regional health policy and practice.
f. Facilitate the development of regional health policies and their implementation.
g. Facilitate the creation and utilisation of health research databases.
h. Establish national and regional databases on health research capacity and research activities in the region.
i. Promote and facilitate the development of human resource capacity and skills in health and in all disciplines of health research.
j. Guide the governments of the Partner States and health research institutions to identify the best ways of developing and retaining qualified health
k. Promote the exchange and dissemination of health research information through conferences, workshops, publications, use of ICT, and other media.
l. Play a critical advocacy role and search for research grants and required resources.
m. Promote Community outreach activities in the implementation of research findings.
n. Address common intellectual property rights, patency, copyright issues, etc. which are relevant to health in the Partner States.
o. Facilitate strategic planning in health research institutions and others with similar objectives.
p. Establish expert working groups for priority health research areas.
q. Assist governments and other appropriate bodies and authorities with the development of strategies for adequate and appropriate investment in
health research in the region.
r. Strive for excellence in all of its undertakings.
s. Use resources available in the Partner States to implement its functions.
t. Implement the decisions of the policy organs of the Commission.
u. Do all such other things as the EAC Council may deem necessary for the discharge of its functions and the realisation of its objectives.
The sources of funds for the Commission come from partner states, development partners and such other sources as shall be established by the Council.
8. EAHRC reporting structure
The organizational structure of the EAHRC is as follows;
- The Summit (Heads of State).
- The Council of Ministers (Ministers responsible for EAC Affairs).
- The Sectorial Council on Health (Ministers responsible for Health).
- The Commission (Commissioners).
- The Secretariat of the Commission.
As per the protocol establishing the EAHRC, the Commission shall comprise the following;
- The head of the National Health Research Institutions/Organisations of the Partner States.
- The technical head of Health Services in the Ministries responsible for the health of the Partner States.
- one (1) representative of the deans/heads of Faculty of Medicine, Health and Allied Sciences of recognized Universities of the Partner States to be chosen on a 3-year rotational basis.
- The Executive Secretary of the EAHRC who serves as Secretary to the Commission.
The Commission may co-opt any person to attend the meetings of the Commission. Members of the Commission play also the role of governing board of the EAHRC
The Secretariat of the Commission consists of the Executive Secretary and such other officers and staff as the Council may appoint on such terms and conditions of service as the Council may determine.
The functions of the Secretariat are to;
- Coordinate and harmonise policies and strategies related to the operations of the Commission.
- Generally, undertake the administration and financial management of the Commission.
- Convene meetings of Sectorial Council of the Commission.
- Disseminate information on the Commission to various stakeholders and the international community.
- Mobilise resources for the implementation of the projects and programmes of the Commission.
- Develop a sustainable funding mechanism for facilitating sustainable operations of the Commission and perform other functions as may be conferred on it by or under this Protocol.
11. National Focal Points
The Protocol requires the Partner States to establish National Focal Points as linkages between the Commission and national stakeholders. The National Focal Points appointed by Partner States are as follows;
- National Institute of Public Health (INSP), Republic of Burundi
- Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), Republic of Kenya
- Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC), Republic of Rwanda
- National Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), United Republic of Tanzania
- Zanzibar Health Research Institute (ZAHRI), Zanzibar, United Republic of Tanzania
- Uganda National Health Research Organisation (UNHRO), Republic of Uganda
12. EAHRC Staff Establishment and Positions
EAHRC when fully established will have a total of 34 permanent staff at the EAHRC Headquarters.
Number of Staff
Deputy Executive Secretaries
The provisions of the Protocol of establishment of the EAHRC also grant the commission the right to utilise the resources available in the EAC Partner States to execute its mandate and functions. The resources include; infrastructure, technology, human and other resources.