Menz lamb

Capacitating One Health in Eastern and Southern Africa (COHESA)

This project aims to generate an inclusive research and innovation ecosystem that facilitates uptake, adaptation and adoption of solutions to issues that can be addressed by a One Health approach.

COHESA is co-funded by the OACPS Research and Innovation Programme, a programme implemented by the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific states (OACPS) with the financial support of the European Union. It is led by a consortium comprising of the International Livestock Research Institution (ILRI), the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) and The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA AfriCenter).

The project aims to generate an inclusive research and innovation ecosystem by building capacity in 12 eastern and southern Africa countries, to provide solutions to global health threats affecting people, animals and the environment using a One Health approach.

Project activities will be undertaken through four work packages, namely, knowledge sharing, One health governance, research and education and delivery of One Health solutions.

More information is available under each work package. 

Work package 1: Knowledge sharing 

This work package aims to understand the One Health status within the COHESA countries, promote

Contact: Eric Fèvre 

 information sharing and collaboration. Specific activities include determining the One Health status in governance, education, research and innovation and implementation by conducting baseline and endline surveys in the COHESA countries; identifying One Health strengths and gaps and how they can be filled; determining where gaps align with project objectives; determine where COHESA can align with ongoing One Health projects/initiatives and establish a virtual One Health Observatory as a platform for sharing One Health news, resources and information from COHESA countries.


Baseline assessments and stakeholder net mapping exercises have been conducted in various countries. Gaps were identified in One Health education and policy across countries and net maps of One Health stakeholders have been developed for the different countries. Identified gaps have been formulated into actions that are being implemented as part of COHESA.


Work package 2: Governance

This work package promotes National and Regional One Health collaborations and governance across the COHESA countries. Specifically, this work package aims to establish or strengthen national One Health inter-departmental government platforms and develop (or improve) One Health national goals and strategies; enhance cross-sectoral and multidisciplinary collaborations; and amplify uptake of evidence to inform policy and choice.

Contact: Margret Karembu


Countries have been capacitated to establish or expand the scope of their National One Health platforms; draft, update or implement existing national action plans and strategies; and develop ad update advocacy strategies towards operationalization of One Health entities. Engagement between researchers and journalists through media and communications training for researchers and media has promoted better understanding and reporting of One Health. 



Work package 3: Education and research 

Activities in this work package aim to build capacity of educational institutes to educate, train, and empower the next generation workforce, to deliver One Health solutions. This will be achieved by enhancing long-term courses (undergraduate, postgraduate degree programs); developing short-term courses (appropriate for universities, professionals); developing school level One Health education (targeting children and teachers) and One Health trainers (in collaboration with other work packages). COHESA is also supporting select research groups working on One Health solutions.

Contact: Florence Mutua


Basing on the gaps identified in education during the baseline surveys (Work package 1), countries have undertaken various interventions including incorporation of One Health in existing curricular at University level; development of One Health courses at post-graduate level; One Health education/outreach in schools. The Global One Health Search Tool, a search tool of COHESA's training course list, has been developed to ease access to available One Health courses. A One Health Master of Science benchmark has been established for East Africa in collaboration with the Inter-Universities Council for East Africa. 

Work package 4: Delivery of One Health solutions

This work package aims to promote the adoption, development and implementation of One Health solutions by local partners and strengthening research innovations. It will also look to support One Health interventions on priority topics in select countries. These will incorporate improved One Health approaches which can then serve as a model for other One Health interventions.

Contact: Alexander Caron


In-country ‘sand pit’ events, have been organized to capacitate participating research institutions to generate ideas and high-quality, multidisciplinary One Health project proposals. Teams pitch their proposals and the winning pitches are promoted, receive funding and are provided with technical support and mentoring from the project. 


Shauna Richards

Shauna Richards

Post-Doctoral Fellow