Africa: Seven Ways to Assist Health Research in Developing Nations
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
A guide released yesterday details seven principles for good practice in strengthening research capacity in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC).
The document was put together by a partnership of funding agencies from around the world called ESSENCE on Health Research (Enhancing Support for Strengthening the Effectiveness of National Capacity Efforts).
“The majority of research funding in LMICs comes from outside and so funding agencies need to reflect upon how they can help to strengthen capacity,” says Garry Aslanyan, partnerships and governance manager at the WHO hosted Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, an ESSENCE partner. He adds that LMICs often do not prioritise the strengthening of research capacity.
To produce the guide, ESSENCE sent questionnaires to its members and the WHO’s technical programmes asking about their work and experiences related to research capacity strengthening. A consultation was then held in Uganda in July 2013, which brought together researchers, funders and research leaders to provide input on draft guidelines that aimed to assemble best practice and knowledge in this area.
“The process of creating the document is just as important as the final product,” says Aslanyan.
The final set of seven principles is based on simple ideas that can be applied as widely as possible in different scenarios. They cover issues such as: leadership; local ownership; monitoring and evaluation; and long-term planning.