RESPOND-AFRICA: Capacity Strengthening
The institutions within our partnership were largely focussed on infectious diseases when our NIHR Group started in 2017. Today, research on chronic diseases are major programmes in all of our institutions and growing. With initial modest funding to start the Group, we concentrated heavily on on-the-job training and built the skills of Group members. Our more recent funding has provided us with a much-needed opportunity to provide more formal training as well.
We currently have a training lead (Dr Anupam Garrib, LSTM) and training needs are agreed among partners at steering committee meetings. Based on our training assessments for our current activity, our approach to capacity building is targeted at both the individual and institutional levels. We have participated and contributed to the NIHR training forums.
Building capacity of future research leaders in chronic conditions:
To date we have supported two Masters and three PhD students through our programmes with plans to expand this over the next 3 years.
Faith Aikaeli, from Tanzania, studied an MSc in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2020 and completed her summer project with the partnership. You can read more about Faith’s experience here.
Having identified a lack of capacity in programme databases, we are actively developing capacity in python (database) programming language and creating capacity in both Tanzania and Uganda to develop and manage databases.
Fredrick Amani from NIMR in Tanzania was selected to undertake a data governance training course. You can read Frederick’s account here
Crucially, our research network is now large enough to provide supervision for PhD studies in a diverse range of disciplines including in Epidemiology, Health Economics and Social Science. We have a large number of activities and materials and work with local universities in Africa to provide opportunities for training of their postgraduate students. Scholarship opportunities will be advertised regularly on our website so please do visit us often to find out more.