(HSSE): The Power and Potential

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Transcript (HSSE): The Power and Potential

Faculty of Medicine
Research Capacity Building
Susan Bradley, Centre for Global Health, TCD
& HSSE team
Supported by:
Irish Aid & Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Denmark
Partners to the Project
Centre for Global Health, University of Dublin, Trinity College, Dublin (Eilish McAuliffe,
Susan Bradley)
Averting Maternal Death and Disability Program (AMDD), Heilbrunn Department of
Population and Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University,
USA (Lynn Freedman
(Helen de Pinho, Samantha Lobis, Rachel Waxman and Sang Hee Won)
Realizing Rights: the Ethical Globalization Initiative, USA ( Mary Robinson, Peggy Clark,
Ibadat Dhillon, Naoko Otani)
Regional Prevention of Maternal Mortality network, Accra, Ghana (Angela Sawyer,
Dora Shehu)
Ifakara Health Institute, Mikocheni, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania (Godfrey Mbaruku,
Honorati Masanja, Tumaini Mikindo, Neema Wilson, Debby Wason, Abdallah Mkopi,
Aloisia Shemdoe)
University of Malawi, College of Medicine, Centre for Reproductive Health, Malawi
(Francis Kamwendo, Mwizapanyuma Simkonda, Wanangwa Chimwaza, Andrew
Ngwira, Effie Chipeta, Linda Kalilani)
Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine, Eduardo Mondlane University,
Mozambique (Mohsin Sidat, Maria de Fatima Cuembelo, Sozinho Daniel Ndima)
Project objectives
• Expand the evidence base in support of effective use of mid-level health
workers within an enabling environment through the generation of new
evidence and a critical analysis of existing evidence;
• Increase recognition and effective use of mid-level health workers among
national, regional, and global policymakers to address the human
resources crisis in district health systems based on project evidence;
• Advocate for an enabling environment that optimises performance of midlevel providers in order to strengthen health systems; and
• In partnership with African institutions, deepen local capacity to research
and analyse human resource and health systems problems, develop
innovative solutions, influence policymakers at local and global levels, and
sustainably implement new strategies; and build the capacity of northern
institutions to successfully engage in and support partnerships of this kind.
Research capacity building activities
• Training for in-country teams in qualitative
and quantitative techniques (broader than
project requirements)
• Installation of analysis software (NVivo &
SPSS) and training in its use
• Training in costing study techniques
• Joint data analysis
• Collaborative writing and publishing
Reported benefits
• Researchers felt part of a process where
they gained skills and confidence
• Sharing of expertise and learning from
each other SS, SN, NS
• New skills are transferrable to other
Reported Challenges
• Capacity building is not just about skills, it is also
about time
• Unreliable ICT
• Local expertise/context needs more prominence,
particularly at the design stage
• Focus on data collection, insufficient emphasis on
analysis skills or publication
• Shortage/capacity of senior research scientists in
country; lack of ‘mid level’ researchers
• Mentorship for publications is needed - time and
Lessons for future projects
• Undertake a full skills assessment of the
existing platform of each partner’s research
resources and gaps prior to study
• Use facilitated sessions with all partners at the
beginning of a project where partners can
openly explore their strengths/weaknesses,
contributions, and expectations of personal
and institutional gain.
Lessons for future projects
• Improve data management processes
– Commitment to in-country data analysis and data
management needs a dedicated data manager
– More streamlined process from data collection to
analysis to write-up
– Adopt a phased approach, with responsibility
assigned to each partner
– Integrate advocacy into phases for better
Lessons for future projects
• Creative mechanisms, sufficient time and
adequate resources are needed to build and
maintain a respectful, equitable and mutually
beneficial collaboration
• Communication is key, but is a complex area
that requires explicit attention to ensure
optimum engagement
• Engage in capacity building to enhance
accountability and responsibility of in-country
partners thus contributing to in-country
partners’ ability to lead research teams
The project demonstrated the need to engage in
capacity building that is a lasting and
sustainable investment in the work of all
partners. The commitment to research
capacity building exposed a number of issues
that could be considered for future work, both
at institutional level and more broadly within
health systems research.
With Thanks
HSSE Team:
• AMDD, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, USA
• Centre for Global Health, Trinity College, University of Dublin
• Centre for Reproductive Health, College of Medicine, Malawi
• Dept. of Community Health, Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique
• Ifakara Health Institute, Tanzania
• Realizing Rights: Ethical Globalization Initiative, USA
• Regional Prevention of Maternal Mortality Network, Ghana
• IrishAid & Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Denmark