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The introduction begins with Ghana’s president Kwame Nkrumah (1957-1966) laying the foundation stone of the first reactor building at the new Ghana Atomic Energy Commission in Kwabenya. He promoted “scientific equity” and access to science for all citizens. The nuclear energy project, headed by the engineering professor R.P. Baffour, topped Nkrumah’s plans for scientific development. Nkrumah sent Baffour to the Soviet Union to negotiate with Prime Minister Khrushchev to see what resources Ghana might provide in exchange for technical assistance and a reactor. Nkrumah and his closest advisors asserted a new African vision for nuclear power, predicated on the idea that all countries had citizens with equal intellectual capabilities. Nkrumah expressed, “no country has monopoly of ability.” Ghana was among several independent African nations interested in nuclear energy and the peaceful uses of the atom including Tanzania, Libya, and Nigeria. Julius Nyere and Kenya’s Ali Mazuri stressed that Africans would be more capable of managing nuclear energy than Europeans. The introduction interrogates this assertion through a discussion of scientific equity, manpower and human capacity, and urban dynamics at Atomic Junction. It locates Ghana’s story within scholarship on the rise of nuclear power elsewhere, especially in India and South Africa.
To develop a definition of “capacity building” relevant to Health Technology Assessment international (HTAi).
A review of capacity building activities undertaken by HTAi members, members of the International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA), and regional HTA networks was compared against general literature on capacity building definitions and frameworks. The findings were reviewed by the HTAi Scientific Development and Capacity Building Committee. Furthermore, the Executive Committee and Interest Groups of HTAi provided input on the draft final paper.
The literature demonstrated the need for a definition of capacity building specific to HTA. In the context of HTAi, it was necessary for the definition to cover (i) the broadest range of HTA-related activities, (ii) multiple stakeholders involved in the HTA process, and (iii) the spectrum of activities that compose capacity building. We propose the following definition of HTA capacity building: The process by which individuals and organizations develop or strengthen abilities related to understanding, providing input to, conducting, or utilizing HTA for health policy and decision making, as well as, developing awareness and support in the environment within which HTA is being used.
A definition of HTA-related capacity building that was intended to provide clarity about what this term means to HTAi was developed. As HTA is context-dependent, a need for further work to develop an operationalization “menu” relevant to the specific needs in which HTA is being used was identified.
Capacity building is essential in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to address the gap in skills to conduct and implement research. Capacity building must not only include scientific and technical knowledge, but also broader competencies, such as writing, disseminating research and achieving work–life balance. These skills are thought to promote long-term career success for researchers in high-income countries (HICs) but the availability of such training is limited in LMICs.
This paper presents the contextualisation and implementation of the Academic Competencies Series (ACES). ACES is an early-career researcher development programme adapted from a UK university. Through consultation between HIC and LMIC partners, an innovative series of 10 workshops was designed covering themes of self-development, engagement and writing skills. ACES formed part of the African Mental Health Research Initiative (AMARI), a multi-national LMIC-led consortium to recruit, train, support and network early-career mental health researchers from four sub-Saharan African countries.
Of the 10 ACES modules, three were HIC-LMIC co-led, four led by HIC facilitators with LMIC training experience and three led by external consultants from HICs. Six workshops were delivered face to face and four by webinar. Course attendance was over 90% and the delivery cost was approximately US$4500 per researcher trained. Challenges of adaptation, attendance and technical issues are described for the first round of workshops.
This paper indicates that a skills development series for early-career researchers can be contextualised and implemented in LMIC settings, and is feasible for co-delivery with local partners at relatively low cost.
In emergencies and resource-poor settings, non-specialists are increasingly being trained to provide psychosocial support to people in distress, with Psychological First Aid (PFA) one of the most widely-used approaches. This paper considers the effectiveness of short training programmes to equip volunteers to provide psychosocial support in emergencies, focusing particularly on whether the PFA training provided during the Ebola outbreak enabled non-specialists to incorporate the key principles into their practice.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted in Sierra Leone and Liberia with 24 PFA trainers; 36 individuals who participated in PFA training; and 12 key informants involved in planning and implementing the PFA roll-out.
Findings indicate that many PFA training-of-trainers were short and rarely included content designed to develop training skills. As a result, the PFA training delivered was of variable quality. PFA providers had a good understanding of active listening, but responses to a person in distress were less consistent with the guidance in the PFA training or with the principles of effective interventions outlined by Hobfoll et al.
There are advantages to training non-specialists to provide psychosocial support during emergencies, and PFA has all the elements of an effective approach. However, the very short training programmes which have been used to train non-specialists in PFA might be appropriate for participants who already bring a set of relevant skills to the training, but for others it is insufficient. Government/NGO standardisation of PFA training and integration in national emergency response structures and systems could strengthen in-country capacity.
Biomedical research from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is poorly represented in Western European and North American psychiatric journals.
To test the feasibility of trialling a capacity-building intervention to improve LMIC papers' representation in biomedical journals.
We designed an enhanced peer-review intervention delivered to LMIC corresponding/first authors of papers rejected by the British Journal of Psychiatry. We conducted a feasibility study, inviting consenting authors to be randomised to intervention versus none, measuring recruitment and retention rates, outcome completion and author/reviewer-rated acceptability.
Of the 26/121 consenting to participate, 12 were randomised to the intervention and 14 to the control arms. Outcome completion was 100% but qualitative feedback from authors/reviewers was mixed, with attrition from 5/12 (42%) of intervention reviewers.
Low interest among eligible authors and variable participation of expert reviewers suggested low feasibility of a full trial and a need for intervention redesign.
Declaration of interest
A.P., P.T. and M.Y. are British Journal of Psychiatry editorial board members. During this study P.T. was British Journal of Psychiatry Editor, A.P. was a trainee editor and A.H. was an editorial assistant.
During the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the lack of infection prevention and control (IPC) measures in health care facilities amplified human-to-human transmission and contributed to the magnitude of this humanitarian disaster.
In the summer of 2014, the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG; Geneva, Switzerland) conducted an IPC assessment and developed a project based on the local needs and their expertise with the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Humanitarian Aid Unit (SDC/HA; Bern, Switzerland). The project consisted of building local capacity in the production of alcohol-based hand-rub solution (ABHRS) based on the World Health Organization (WHO; Geneva, Switzerland) formula in non-Ebola health facilities at the peak of the outbreak in Liberia (Fall 2014) and during recovery in Guinea (September 2015) to promote safer care. Twenty-one pharmacists in Liberia and 22 in Guinea were trained and one years’ worth of laboratory equipment, chemical products, containers for personal use, and bioethanol were delivered to 10 hospitals per country with more than 8,000 100 ml bottles of solution produced at the end of the project.
Hand hygiene using hand-rub solution is a critical component of safer care, especially in health care settings lacking runnable water. Throughout the Ebola outbreak, it was a timely moment to promote hand-rub solution and to reinforce IPC measures in non-Ebola health facilities. During the project implementation, a substantial challenge was the unavailability of bioethanol in Liberia and Guinea. In the long run, sustainability of the production can become an issue as it depends heavily on the local government’s financial and political commitment, the capacity to create an on-going demand for hand-rub solution in health facilities, the local purchase and replacement of the materials and chemical products, as well as the availability of continuous local partners’ support.
The project demonstrated that it was feasible to build local capacity in ABHRS production during an emergency and in limited-resource settings when materials and training are provided. Future programs in similar contexts should identify and address the factors of sustainability during the implementation phase and provide regular, long-term technical support.
Jacquerioz BauschFA, HellerO, BengalyL, Matthey-KhouityB, BonnabryP, TouréY, KervillainGJ, BahEI, ChappuisF, HagonO. Building Local Capacity in Hand-Rub Solution Production during the 2014-2016 Ebola Outbreak Disaster: The Case of Liberia and Guinea.. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2018;33(6):660–667.
In 2015, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees started a process of mental health capacity building in refugee primary health care settings in seven countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, ultimately aiming to decrease the treatment gap of mental, neurological and substance use (MNS) conditions in these operations. In 2015 and 2016, a specialized non-governmental organization, the War Trauma Foundation, trained 619 staff with the mental health gap action programme (mhGAP) Humanitarian Intervention Guide (HIG), a tool designed to guide clinical decision making in humanitarian settings.
This paper describes the results of a process evaluation of a real-life implementation project by an external consultant, one and a half years after starting the programme.
The mhGAP-HIG capacity building efforts had various effects contributing to the integration of mental health in refugee primary health care. Facility-and community-based staff reported strengthened capacities to deliver mental health and psychosocial support interventions as well as changes in their attitude towards people suffering from MNS conditions. Service delivery and collaboration amongst different intervention levels improved. The scarcity of specialized staff in these settings was a major barrier, hindering the setting-up of supervision mechanisms.
Mental health training of non-specialized staff in complex humanitarian settings is feasible and can lead to increased competency of providers. However, capacity building is a ‘process’ and not an ‘event’ and mhGAP trainings are only one element in a spectrum of activities aimed at integrating mental health into general health care. Regular supervision and continuing on-the-job training are in fact critical to ensure sustainability.
The Dissemination and Implementation Research Core, a research methods core from the Clinical and Translation Science Award at Washington University in St. Louis Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences, developed toolkits about dissemination and implementation (D&I) concepts (e.g., D&I outcomes, strategies). This paper reports on the development of the toolkits. These toolkits respond to 3 identified needs for capacity building in D&I research: resources for investigators new to the D&I field, consolidation of tools, and limitations in local contexts.
Iron deficiency remains the largest nutritional deficiency worldwide and the main cause of anaemia. Severe iron deficiency leads to anaemia known as iron deficiency anaemia (IDA), which affects a total of 1·24 billion people, the majority of whom are children and women from resource-poor countries. In sub-Saharan Africa, iron deficiency is frequently exacerbated by concomitant parasitic and bacterial infections and contributes to over 120 000 maternal deaths a year, while it irreparably limits the cognitive development of children and leads to poor outcomes in pregnancy.
Currently available iron compounds are cheap and readily available, but constitute a non-physiological approach to providing iron that leads to significant side effects. Consequently, iron deficiency and IDA remain without an effective treatment, particularly in populations with high burden of infectious diseases. So far, despite considerable investment in the past 25 years in nutrition interventions with iron supplementation and fortification, we have been unable to significantly decrease the burden of this disease in resource-poor countries.
If we are to eliminate this condition in the future, it is imperative to look beyond the strategies used until now and we should make an effort to combine community engagement and social science approaches to optimise supplementation and fortification programmes.
Effective translational research requires engagement and collaboration between communities, researchers, and practitioners. We describe a community scientist academy (CSA) developed at the suggestion of our Clinical and Translational Science Awards’ (CTSA) community advisory board to engage and capacitate community members by (1) increasing community members’ and patients’ understanding about the research process and (2) increasing their access to opportunities to influence and participate in research. A joint CTSA/community planning committee developed this 8-hour workshop including sessions on: (1) research definitions and processes; (2) study design; (3) study implementation; and (4) ways to get involved in research. The workshop format includes interactive exercises, content slides and videos, and researcher and community presenters.
Community-based information sessions allowed assessment of community interest before piloting. Two pilots of the CSA were conducted with community members and patients. Participant data and a pre/post knowledge and feedback survey provide evaluation data.
The pilot included 24 diverse participants, over half of whom had not previously participated in research. Evaluation data suggest knowledge gains. Post-CSA, one-third have reviewed CTSA pilot grants and over 80% want to attend further training.
The CSA can demystify the research process for those underrepresented in research and facilitate their engagement and influence within CTSAs.
With the widespread shift from models of welfare to business-led development, capacity development offers a useful lens from which to consider the emergence of Indigenous social enterprise as a business-led development approach. We explore capacity development from the international development literature and identify capacity development principles in the context of an Indigenous social enterprise in remote northeast Arnhem Land. Here, Aboriginal Australians continue to experience poverty and marginalisation. This paper provides an ethnographic example of the relationship between Indigenous social enterprise and capacity development. Identifying principles of capacity development in this rich context reveals the remit of the Indigenous social enterprise privileges environmental stewardship and cultural maintenance.
Few mining countries face capacity building challenges comparable to Rwanda's. Worsened by the genocide, a 2009 report put the number of mining scientists in Rwanda at 40, fewer than four below the age of 40. The government has however recognized that local skills development is crucial to the potential of mining to contribute to the country's economic development. This has been demonstrated through a series of reforms, culminating in the mining code of 2014. This article considers two issues critical to capacity building in the mining sector: formalization of artisanal and small-scale mining and the promotion of local content / procurement. Its main thesis is that the code provides limited opportunities for local mining capacity building and its local content provisions are rather nervously worded. This is worsened by the fact that Rwanda has no freestanding local content legislation. The article calls for Rwanda to adopt such legislation, with specific provisions on local skills training.
The equitable sharing of benefits from natural resources is a key target of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Trade in its native species is one way in which a country can potentially benefit from its natural resources, and even small-scale traders can now access global markets online. However, little is known about the extent of benefit sharing for many products, and the extent to which the appropriate processes and permits are being used. We surveyed online trade in a lucrative and widely sold product in Southeast Asia (horticultural orchids) to assess the extent of access and benefit sharing. In total, 20.8% (n = 1120) of orchid species from the region were being sold. Although seven out of ten countries were trading, five had very little or no trade in their native species, and the majority of recently described endemic species being traded from non-range states had no reported Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora exports from their country of origin. We suggest that addressing access and benefit-sharing gaps requires wider recognition of the problem, coupled with capacity building in the countries currently benefitting least: Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia. The priority should be to increase botanical capacity and enable these countries to better control the commercialization and trade of their native species.
Historically, women have been less likely to be supported through higher degree training programmes, and they continue to hold more junior positions in science. This paper reviews the current gender research and gender capacity-building efforts led by the UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR). Created more than 40 years ago as the only United Nations-based Special Programme dedicated to research and research capacity building on infectious diseases, TDR has a longstanding track record both in supporting research into gender-specific questions and in research capacity strengthening among women scientists. We provide an overview of these approaches, then describe a recent pilot programme on Women in Science, designed to understand and remedy the gender gaps in health research. The programme focused on Africa, but it is hoped that the replication of such schemes in TDR and other international funding agencies will lead to more attention being given to women in infectious diseases research in other continents.
This article may not be reprinted or reused in any way in order to promote any commercial products or services.
To achieve their conservation goals individuals, communities and organizations need to acquire a diversity of skills, knowledge and information (i.e. capacity). Despite current efforts to build and maintain appropriate levels of conservation capacity, it has been recognized that there will need to be a significant scaling-up of these activities in sub-Saharan Africa. This is because of the rapid increase in the number and extent of environmental problems in the region. We present a range of socio-economic contexts relevant to four key areas of African conservation capacity building: protected area management, community engagement, effective leadership, and professional e-learning. Under these core themes, 39 specific recommendations are presented. These were derived from multi-stakeholder workshop discussions at an international conference held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2015. At the meeting 185 delegates (practitioners, scientists, community groups and government agencies) represented 105 organizations from 24 African nations and eight non-African nations. The 39 recommendations constituted six broad types of suggested action: (1) the development of new methods, (2) the provision of capacity building resources (e.g. information or data), (3) the communication of ideas or examples of successful initiatives, (4) the implementation of new research or gap analyses, (5) the establishment of new structures within and between organizations, and (6) the development of new partnerships. A number of cross-cutting issues also emerged from the discussions: the need for a greater sense of urgency in developing capacity building activities; the need to develop novel capacity building methodologies; and the need to move away from one-size-fits-all approaches.
The need for increased monitoring and evaluation within the conservation sector has been well documented, and includes the monitoring and evaluation of training activities. We evaluated the impacts of a long-term training programme in Mauritius, using a questionnaire and semi-structured key informant interviews to develop a theory of change from the perspective of the trainers, and validated it against participants' perceptions of the benefits of training. Our findings indicated that an important outcome of training was to increase participants' belief that they could effect change, also called perception of control; this is related to an increase in a trainee's practical skills, which enables them to become more effective in their work. However, if a trainee's work environment was negative, the impact of training on practical skills, job performance and perception of control was lower. Neither the acquisition of conservation theory nor the opportunity to network was perceived by participants as improving their conservation performance, despite trainers anticipating that these matters would be important. Perception of control and work environment should therefore be considered when designing conservation training programmes, and the effectiveness of teaching conservation theory and networking should be examined further.
The purpose of this paper is to describe the development and initial accomplishments of a training program of young leaders in community mental health research as part of a Latin American initiative known as RedeAmericas. RedeAmericas was one of five regional ‘Hubs’ funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to improve community mental health care and build mental health research capacity in low- and middle-income countries. It included investigators in six Latin American cities – Santiago, Chile; Medellín, Colombia; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Córdoba, Neuquén, and Buenos Aires in Argentina – working together with a team affiliated with the Global Mental Health program at Columbia University in New York City. One component of RedeAmericas was a capacity-building effort that included an Awardee program for early career researchers in the mental health field. We review the aims of this component, how it developed, and what was learned that would be useful for future capacity-building efforts, and also comment on future prospects for maintaining this type of effort.
There are few reported efforts to define universal disaster response performance measures. Careful examination of responses to past disasters can inform the development of such measures. As a first step toward this goal, we conducted a literature review to identify key factors in responses to 3 recent events with significant loss of human life and economic impact: the 2003 Bam, Iran, earthquake; the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami; and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Using the PubMed (National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD) database, we identified 710 articles and retained 124 after applying inclusion and exclusion criteria. Seventy-two articles pertained to the Haiti earthquake, 38 to the Indian Ocean tsunami, and 14 to the Bam earthquake. On the basis of this review, we developed an organizational framework for disaster response performance measurement with 5 key disaster response categories: (1) personnel, (2) supplies and equipment, (3) transportation, (4) timeliness and efficiency, and (5) interagency cooperation. Under each of these, and again informed by the literature, we identified subcategories and specific items that could be developed into standardized performance measures. The validity and comprehensiveness of these measures can be tested by applying them to other recent and future disaster responses, after which standardized performance measures can be developed through a consensus process. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:505–509)