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Monitoring and evaluating capacity building activities in low and middle income countries: challenges and opportunities

  • M. Schneider (a1), T. van de Water (a2), R. Araya (a3), B. B. Bonini (a4), D. J. Pilowsky (a5), C. Pratt (a5), L. Price (a6), G. Rojas (a7), S. Seedat (a2), M. Sharma (a8) and E. Susser (a5)...

Abstract

Background

Lower and middle income countries (LMICs) are home to >80% of the global population, but mental health researchers and LMIC investigator led publications are concentrated in 10% of LMICs. Increasing research and research outputs, such as in the form of peer reviewed publications, require increased capacity building (CB) opportunities in LMICs. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) initiative, Collaborative Hubs for International Research on Mental Health reaches across five regional ‘hubs’ established in LMICs, to provide training and support for emerging researchers through hub-specific CB activities. This paper describes the range of CB activities, the process of monitoring, and the early outcomes of CB activities conducted by the five research hubs.

Methods

The indicators used to describe the nature, the monitoring, and the early outcomes of CB activities were developed collectively by the members of an inter-hub CB workgroup representing all five hubs. These indicators included but were not limited to courses, publications, and grants.

Results

Results for all indicators demonstrate a wide range of feasible CB activities. The five hubs were successful in providing at least one and the majority several courses; 13 CB recipient-led articles were accepted for publication; and nine grant applications were successful.

Conclusions

The hubs were successful in providing CB recipients with a wide range of CB activities. The challenge remains to ensure ongoing CB of mental health researchers in LMICs, and in particular, to sustain the CB efforts of the five hubs after the termination of NIMH funding.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative CommonsAttribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: M. Schneider, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, PO Box 241, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa. (Email: marguerite.schneider@uct.ac.za)

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