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Enabling research capacity strengthening within a consortium context: A qualitative study

Aiyenigba, Abiola, Abomo, Pierre, Wiltgen Georgi, Neele, Bates, Imelda ORCID: and Pulford, Justin ORCID: (2022) 'Enabling research capacity strengthening within a consortium context: A qualitative study'. BMJ Global Health, Vol 7, Issue 6, e008763.

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Introduction: In this paper, we aim to further understand how health research consortia may be structured to better support research capacity strengthening (RCS) outcomes. The primary research questions include: in what ways do consortium members perceive that they and their respective institutions’ research capacity is strengthened from said membership? And, drawing on member experiences, what are the common factors that enable these perceived gains in research capacity to be realised (or realised to a greater extent)?

Methods: A qualitative study set within phase one (2016-2021) of the ‘Developing Excellence in Leadership, Training and Science’ (DELTAS) Africa initiative. Semi-structured interviews were completed with a total of 69 participants from seven institutions across six African countries belonging to three out of the eleven phase one DELTAS Africa consortia. Data were analysed thematically via a general inductive approach.

Results: A diverse array of perceived individual and institutional benefits of RCS consortium membership were reported. Individual benefits were primarily related to greater access to training, resources and expertise as well as greater opportunities to engage in essential research and research leadership activities. Many of the reported institutional-level benefits of RCS consortium membership such as a better capacitated and/or expanded workforce were also primarily driven through investment in individuals. Four enabling factors presented as especially influential in realising these benefits or realising them to a greater extent. These included: 1) access to funding; 2) inclusive and engaging leadership; 3) a diverse array of facilitated interactions for consortium members; 4) and an efficient interface between a consortium and their respective member institutions.

Conclusion: Many of the reported benefits of RCS consortium membership were realised through funding access, yet attention to the other three enabling factors may further amplify the advantages conferred by funding access or, when funds are insufficient, ensure worthwhile gains in RCS may still be achieved in a consortium context.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > WA 105 Epidemiology
WA Public Health > WA 20.5 Research (General)
WA Public Health > Health Administration and Organization > WA 525 General works
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > International Public Health Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Mary Creegan
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2022 10:15
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2022 10:15


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