Coordinating Partners

Leading global and national institutions are collaborating on the ECHO Study. Listed in alphabetical order, the collaborating organisations are:

FHI_L4 FHI 360 leads the implementation of the ECHO study. A nonprofit human development organisation dedicated to improving lives in lasting ways by advancing integrated, locally driven solutions, FHI 360 envisions a world in which all individuals and communities have the opportunity to reach their highest potential.
rhi The International Clinical Research Centre, based in the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington, leads data management, laboratory oversight, and safety monitoring for the ECHO study. One of the world’s preeminent public universities, its impact on individuals, on its region, and on the world is profound — whether the university is launching young people into a boundless future or confronting the grand challenges of our time through undaunted research and scholarship.
picture1 The Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute (Wits RHI) based at the University of Witwatersrand leads on Good Participatory Practice and communications for the ECHO study. Established in 1994 as the Reproductive Health Research Unit (RHRU), Wits RHI was awarded Institute status by the University of the Witwatersrand in 2010. Wits RHI has an extensive portfolio embracing research, programmatic support, training, policy development, health systems strengthening and technical assistance at national and international level.
who The World Health Organization convenes global stakeholders to consider research on contraception and HIV and coordinates global communication on the issue. WHO is the directing and coordinating authority on international health within the United Nations’ system.

Study Sites

The ECHO Study is being conducted at 12 sites in four countries, including sites in Kenya, South Africa, Swaziland and Zambia.


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aurum The Aurum Institute is a proudly South African, public-benefit organisation with over 17 years’ experience in leading the response, treatment and research efforts to eradicate TB and HIV. The Aurum Institute has been working alongside government, the mining industry, among NGOs and in communities to better understand the epidemics to provide real solutions. Its remit is to improve the health of people and communities through innovation in TB and HIV integration.
ERC Effective Care Research Unit (ECRU) is a research unit of the Universities of Witwatersrand and Fort Hare, and a WHO collaborating centre in reproductive health research synthesis. ECRU is based in the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Frere and Cecila Makiwane Hospitals, with access to a large obstetric population, and have participated in or led many important randomized trials.
DTF ERC Desmond Tutu Foundation—Emavundleni Research Centre is a branch of the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre. Since its inception in 2006, the research centre based in Crossroads, has conducted research into development of strategies for HIV and HPV prevention and provided a few essential health services to the population in the surrounding Nyanga district.
family-life association Since 1979, the Family Life Association of Swaziland (FLAS) has been a national leader in rights-based, integrated sexual and reproductive health and HIV programs. FLAS is a leading youth-friendly service provider, delivering high-quality adult and youth services through mobile and stationary clinics and youth centres throughout the country. FLAS supports youth through capacity development, partnerships and advocacy for their sexual and reproductive health rights.
icap Founded in 2003, ICAP is a leader in public health and supports programs and research that address HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, maternal and child health, and non-communicable diseases. ICAP works in collaboration with governmental and non-governmental partners around the world to support high-performing health system strengthening initiatives and implement innovative and sustainable health solutions. ICAP is currently working in more than 3,479 health facilities across 21 countries.
kemri Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) is a state corporation responsible for carrying out health research in Kenya. Since its inception, KEMRI has developed a critical mass of scientists and technical personnel to enable it to mount a competitive research infrastructure to rank as a leading center of excellence in health research both in Africa as well as globally.
Madibeng Madibeng Centre for Research (MCR) has been involved in clinical trials and community research since 2001. MCR has contributed to key research that led to the inclusion of Rotarix in the South African Expanded Program on Immunisation schedule in 2008. MCR seeks to continue contributing to important research in women’s health, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, TB treatment and vaccines.
 match MatCH Research Unit aims to answer priority questions that will translate into improving sexual and reproductive health outcomes through expanding access to appropriate and acceptable contraceptive, HIV prevention and related health technologies and services. Using a range of methodologies, MatCH conducts behavioural, operations and clinical research, actively partnering with and involving communities and local structures. Technical assistance is also provided, in partnership with various stakeholders, including the Department of Health and other NGOs, to effect policy change and enhance best practice.  
qhakaza-mbokodo The Qhakaza Mbokodo Research Clinic in Ladysmith, KwaZulu Natal, has conducted microbicide studies for HIV prevention since 2007 and served as one of the sites for FACTS studies. The research centre is affiliated with Ladysmith Hospice Association, which has been involved with community mobilisation, home-based care for HIV-positive persons, care for affected orphans and children, and monitoring patients on antiretroviral therapy from the Ladysmith Provincial Project since 2000.
setshaba Setshaba Research Centre (SRC) is an established clinical trial centre, optimally situated in Soshanguve, South Africa, with a strong focus on community engagement and development. The organisation primarily focuses on the conducting of HIV prevention, TB and other clinical research trials with a strong emphasis on data quality. The SRC, supported by its team of experienced and dedicated staff, strives to be a centre of excellence and actively contributes to the education and upliftment of the community that it operates in.
picture1 The Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute (Wits RHI) was established in 1994 and has an extensive portfolio embracing research, programmatic support, training, policy development, health systems strengthening and technical assistance at national and international level.
unc The University of North Carolina’s Division of Global Women’s Health (UNC) works closely with the University of Zambia’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology to conduct clinical research, support sub-specialty training and ongoing medical education, and provide specialist surgical services, particularly in the field of gynaecologic oncology. Over the past 14 years, this university-to-university collaboration has developed and implemented an electronic obstetric record system, overseen dozens of clinical trial protocols, supported advanced degrees and academic training for Zambian clinicians, developed advanced clinical services for HIV-positive pregnant women, and established a national cervical cancer prevention program.