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Annual Regional Research Methods Course in Research Methods in Sexual & Reproductive Health and HIV - 2008

Project Focus
Specialised Intensive Postgraduate Training for Clinicians, Researchers and Professionals working in S & RH and HIV/AIDS

Project Location 
Johannesburg, South Africa

Duration of Project
Annual since 1997

Project Partners

South African Medical Research Council and The Population Council

Project Donors
Belgian Technical Cooperation for Development, The Ford Foundation, New Zealand AID, The Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa, The Wellcome Trust, The World Health Organisation

Sandra McIntosh, Senior Project Coordinator

Project Aim/ Objective
The main overall aim of the course is to support and improve reproductive health policy and programme planning in Africa by building capacity in reproductive health research skills and intervention strategies
  • To strengthen the research capabilities of participants and through this to increase research capacity in the African Region
  • To provide skills in research methodology allowing participants to initiate research, participate in research and to critically appraise research findings
  • To familiarize participants with the major SRH/HIV issues affecting the African Region
  • To create a network of alumni to facilitate information exchange and research collaboration in the African region
Project Activities
An annual four week training course for selected South African and African Regional participants comprising:
  • an overview of reproductive health
  • qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • operations research
  • statistics
  • questionnaire design
  • Epi-info
  • proposal development
  • the use of the Internet for research
  • dissemination and utilisation of research results
  • clinical audit
  • Cochrane review
  • research ethics
  • proposal costing
  • specific issues in reproductive health ( Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV
  • Quality of Care
  • Mother to Child Transmission, Gender Based Violence)
  • the role of evidence based research in policy.
There is also a critical analysis small group’s task focusing on a critical review of a selected scientific paper and also site visits to ongoing research projects and programmes

The course covers all stages of research including; translations of problems into study designs and proposals, the translation of results into reports and publications, the development of policy, programmes and practice

Anticipated/Actual Results
  • Increased skills, confidence and professional abilities of participants
  • Increased publications of Alumni
  • Increased interventions and policy influence of Alumni
  • Cascading/in country dissemination of course and mentorship by Alumni upon return to institutions and organisations
Additional Outputs
  • 259 clinicians and associated professionals trained from 19 African countries
  • 2005 External Evaluation by The Wellcome Trust as “unique” and “world class”
Future Plans
To translate into French/Portuguese and to conduct an additional shorter course with e-learning

Projects in the National Office Projects Cluster:

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