Gathered to plan future activities of CISMAC

The partners of Centre of Intervention Science of Mother and Child Health (CISMAC) recently met at Sotra to celebrate five years of important research and plan for future collaborations.

Last spring CISMAC completed the Midterm Evaluation for the Centers of Excellence (SFF)and secured its status as an SFF for five more years. To celebrate this, and plan the activities for the next five years, the partners met at Hotel Panorama June 13 to 15. The partners shared ideas for new research projects in interactive workshops, and lectures by the partners and other contributors, including from UNICEF and The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs contributed very importantly the meeting. One of the main topics was “implementation research”, meaning research on how better to implement practices and policies to improve maternal and child health and development.

The Deputy Director of CISMAC, Ingvild F. Sandøy, sums up the main achievements of CISMAC:

“First of all, we have started a number of randomized controlled trials on research questions we had identified when we applied for the status as a Center of Excellency. Getting them up and running is a lot of work. Now, one is finished and in the next couple of years, we will complete many of the ongoing studies”, she says.

Director Halvor Sommerfelt, adds:

“An important contribution has been to strengthen the capacity to do research within intervention science, both in Norway but also in our partners in Sub-Sahara Africa, Palestine and Asia”.

According to Sommerfelt, strengthening competence in intervention research will be important also for the future of CISMAC beyond the period it has core funding from the Research Council of Norway: “It is a prerequisite for this consortium to be sustainable. If we do not work on building our partners and our own competence and skills, then we will not be competitive to get new grants and be able to do this kind of research when after 2023”.

One of the recommendations from the Midterm Evaluation was to create stronger horizontal linkages between the different partners involved. The conference in Sotra is an important part of this process:

“The unit in Bergen is small, and we want a lot of good research to come out also when we are not directly involved. In the workshop on Thursday we identified new research ideas, some for implementation research, which we will try to develop into relevant and important research projects”, Sommerfelt says.

See CISMAC’s website here ( for further information about the ongoing projects.

Text: Ingrid Hagerup. Photo: Thorkild Tylleskär