Research Capacity Strengthening in Vector Control

Project 8 Oct 2018
7

Vector-borne diseases are pervasive, causing massive morbidity and mortality, and severely hindering economic growth across the developing world. Many of the current tools available are inadequate in urban environments or are failing due to insecticide resistance, and the evidence base for newer interventions remains weak. Selecting the most cost-effective, affordable, and acceptable tools to reduce the burden of vector borne disease requires an integrated approach involving vector biologists, economists, and anthropologists, working in partnership with national ministries of health, planning and finance.

The Partnership for Increasing the Impact of Vector Control (PIIVeC) will establish partnerships to increase the impact of vector control. Bringing together leading research institutes and national disease control programmes Burkina Faso, Malawi and Cameroon, with exceptionally high burdens of vector borne disease, the programme will develop evidence-based solutions for integrated vector control. The programme will build trans-disciplinary partnerships to strengthen the evidence base for vector control and promote the use of this evidence by relevant stakeholders.

Capacity Research Unit Objectives
Researchers within the Capacity Research Unit will undertake structured assessments of partner institutions to assess research management and support capacities as well as strengths and weaknesses in current vector control research capacity. Findings from the baseline assessment will then be used to identify priority, institution-level capacity gaps that PIIVeC will aim to address over the course of the programme. Along with institutional capacity assessments, a bespoke reflective learning programme will be conducted, the outcomes from which will inform programme level decision-making regarding allocation of consortia resources and/or implementation of consortia activities.

The work will build on the Capacity Research Unit’s growing experience providing institutional capacity assessments (ICA) and reflective learning programmes (RLP) in support of research capacity strengthening (RCS) consortia. By implementing both ICAs and RLPs through robust, transparent, and transferable processes, and through publishing the processes and outcomes in peer-reviewed journals, the proposed research will also contribute to the development of the fledgling evidence base pertaining to RCS implementation. Thus, the proposed research will enhance PIIVeC consortia outcomes and produce knowledge to advance the evidence base in the area of RCS design and implementation more broadly.

The PIIVeC project is also part of a wider platform, comprised of multiple sub-Saharan African RCS consortia, in which CRU is applying a standard set of predetermined indicators to track and document institutional-level research capacity strengthening outcomes and to answer priority ‘cross-programme’ research questions in an effort to strengthen the RCS evidence-base. GCRF funded programmes in this platform include: Partnership for Increasing the Impact of Vector Control (PIIVeC); One Health Regional Network for the Horn of Africa (HORN); and Strengthening Capacity in Environmental Physics, Hydrology and Statistics for Conservation Agriculture Research (CEPHaS).