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Enablers of gender equitable scientific career progression in Sub-Saharan Africa: Insights from the DELTAS Africa Initiative

Liani, Millicent, Nyamongo, Isaac K., Pulford, Justin ORCID: and Tolhurst, Rachel ORCID: (2021) 'Enablers of gender equitable scientific career progression in Sub-Saharan Africa: Insights from the DELTAS Africa Initiative'. AAS Open Research, Vol 4, p. 42.

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Background: This paper present findings on current strategies utilised within selected Developing Excellence in Leadership, Training and Science in Africa’ (DELTAS Africa) consortia to promote gender equitable scientific career progression for researchers, as well as participants’ recommendations for change. Findings are drawn from a wider research study nested within this health-based scientific research capacity strengthening initiative that was aimed at gaining an in-depth understanding of the barriers and enablers of gender equitable scientific career progression for researchers in sub-Saharan Africa.

Methods: We adopted an exploratory qualitative cross-sectional study design. The main method of data collection was in-depth interviews (IDIs) with trainees/research fellows at various career stages affiliated to three purposively selected DELTAS Africa Research Consortia. In addition, key informant interviews (KIIs) with consortia research leaders/directors, co-investigators, and management team were also conducted to corroborate information gathered from the IDIs, and to provide additional insights on the enabling factors/actions and policy processes that were currently in place or proposed to enhance gender equitable career progression. In total, fifty-eight IDIs (32 female and 26 male) and twenty KIIs (4 female and 16 male) were conducted. Interviews were carried out between May and December 2018 in English. Data were analysed inductively based on emergent themes, and aligned to the developed integrated conceptual framework.

Results: Three overarching themes were identified. First: micro level efforts - individual coping mechanisms and familial level support. Second: Meso level efforts -existing enabling mechanisms at the institutional level. Third: proposed solutions for positive change towards enhancing gender equitable career progression at micro, meso and macro levels.

Conclusions: These findings have implications for future research capacity strengthening programming, including DELTAS Africa II initiative (2021-2025); they provide valuable insights on potential strategies and actions aiming to narrow gender inequities in scientific career progression in the context of sub-Saharan African research institutions.

Keywords: Researchers’ lived experiences; enabling mechanisms; gender equity; scientific career progression; Sub-Saharan Africa; DELTAS Africa; health research capacity strengthening.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: W General Medicine. Health Professions > W 21 Medicine as a profession.
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > International Public Health Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Rachel Dominguez
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2021 13:04
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2021 13:04


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