The study, including research carried out by HelpAge International, Durham University, the Good Samaritan Social Services Trust and Research for Policy (REPOA), was selected from the 6,975 case studies submitted to the Research Excellence Framework 2014 - the system used to assess the research quality of all UK universities. It was picked by UKCDS, a group of 14 UK government departments and research funders working in international development, as one of their 20 favourite impact stories.
In collaboration with HelpAge Tanzania, the Durham researchers and their local co-researchers explored how limited access to transport had negative effects on older people’s health and livelihoods. They found it severely affected economic circumstances in both households and communities, and increased the workload of resident grandchildren in their care. This collaborative research has made significant contributions to HelpAge’s policy advocacy agenda shaping subsequent interventions that have been introduced to address some of the barriers that limit older people’s equal access to health care. It has also underscored the inter-twined nature of transport, mobility, health and livelihoods.
Amleset Tewodros, Country Director of HelpAge Tanzania, the co-author of a paper cited in the case study, said the research had helped policy makers to recognise the transport and mobility challenges experienced by people with low mobility and physical inability such as older people.
"In a uniquely organised approach, older men and women were involved as co-researchers shaping the design of the research tools and the collection of data, they’ve not just been passive respondents", she said.
The findings of this research have made a significant contribution to improving accessibility of rural transport including for people with limited mobility such as older people, children, and women.
DFID’s African Community Access Programme utilised this research when creating a Transport Services Training Manual, used in regional workshops across Sub-Saharan Africa with transport policy makers and practitioners.
Other impact stories in the top 20 covered topics such as climate change, air pollution, clean water and the fight against bird flu.
Note to Editors:
is a group of 14 UK government departments and research funders working in international development. By stimulating collaboration, UKCDS ensures the best science is funded and used to benefit international development, as well as the UK.
Sarah Gillam, HelpAge International Media Relations Manager, London, Tel: +44 (0)20 7148 7623. Mobile: +44 (0)7713 567 624, Skype: sarah.gillam.hai (HelpAge) or email
Ed Knight, HelpAge International Media Intern, London, Tel: +44 (0)20 7148 7606, Skype: edward.knight.hai or email
About HelpAge International
HelpAge International helps older people claim their rights, challenge discrimination and overcome poverty, so that they can lead dignified, secure, active and healthy lives.
Our work is strengthened through our global network of like-minded organisations - the only one of its kind in the world.
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