The route to impact

Through its funding, EDCTP is generating valuable new evidence on medical interventions and how they can best be implemented in practice, while enhancing the capacity of countries in sub-Saharan Africa to undertake clinical research.

The expected long-term impact of EDCTP’s second programme (2014-2024) is the uptake of research results on poverty-related infectious diseases in health policy and practice and ultimately wider societal benefits, such as the reduction of health disparities associated with these diseases.

To help us achieve our objectives, we monitor the implementation of the EDCTP programme on a regular basis using key performance indicators (KPIs).

Expected impact of EDCTP2

The activities of the EDCTP programme are expected to impact international and national health policy and practice for poverty-related diseases.

  • EDCTP will generate high-quality research data relating to the safety and efficacy of new and improved medicinal products, and how they can be implemented most effectively in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • By developing clinical research capacity in sub-Saharan Africa countries, as well as ethics review, regulatory and legal capacities, EDCTP will enhance the ability of such countries to conduct and host clinical trials.
  • By encouraging greater coordination and alignment of national research efforts, EDCTP will also maximise the impact of European investments in global health research.
  • Partnerships with public and private organisations (both for-profit and nonprofit) will ensure that additional use is made of the clinical research capacity established in sub-Saharan Africa to accelerate the evaluation of new medical interventions.
  • Through partnerships with development agencies and related organisations, EDCTP will contribute to sustainable delivery of validated medical interventions through strengthened healthcare systems.

Monitoring and evaluation

We systematically monitor and evaluate the EDCTP2 programme and the operational performance of EDCTP. These activities help to ensure that the programme functions effectively and achieves its objectives.

In line with internationally recognised principles of results-based management, we monitor and evaluate the EDCTP2 programme to report on its operational performance and results. Our monitoring and evaluation approach draws on a ‘theory of change’ model (see figure below) that maps out the route through which our funding generates immediate outputs (such as the published results from clinical trials), outcomes (such as changes in health policy and practice) and impact (improvements in health and wellbeing and economic gain). This approach helps collect and analyse information from our projects and other activities that is of strategic importance.

The EDCTP theory of change for tracking progress towards impact on health


We monitor the performance of individual projects to ensure that they achieve their specific objectives and deliverables as well as contribute to our programme objectives.

Based on our theory of change we have developed a programme-wide monitoring and evaluation framework. This framework incorporates a set of key performance indicators spanning operational performance and expected outputs, outcomes and impact. Our theory of change model distinguishes different aspects of our work –clinical research, capacity development, and coordination and partnerships – and recognises that activities in these areas enable us to achieve our strategic objectives in different ways. Appropriate key performance indicators have been selected in each of these areas to reflect these different routes to impact.

We are utilising our monitoring data in the programming decisions, for example through investing in new activities to improve participation of countries and regions which are underrepresented in EDCTP. The programme supports gender equity and promotes the interest of populations with major unmet medical needs – steps that are instrumental to realising Sustainable Development Goals.

We also combine our internal efforts complemented with independent evaluation and advice through oversight committees and EDCTP-commissioned evaluations. In 2019 we launched two evaluations – of the EDCTP Regional Networks and concerning Sida’s contributions to EDCTP. Ongoing course corrections in our operations and funding decisions are implemented taking into consideration the recommendations from these evaluations.

In addition, we are subject to external evaluations commissioned by the European Commission and we provide input into the process through our analyses of programme implementation and progress towards EDCTP programme objectives and targets. The first interim evaluation of the EDCTP2 programme was completed in 2017. The second interim evaluation is due in 2022-2023, and the final evaluation in 2026.  We have set up an action plan in response to the recommendations of the first interim evaluation and are monitoring its implementation.