A capacity building Working Group oversaw our capacity development activities within the Programme. The Group includes representatives from all partner organisations, who coordinate capacity building, provide advice and guidance to partners and organise activities at the programme level.
A core objective of the IMPACT collaboration was to build the capacity of our research teams to deliver excellent research and secure competitive research funding for further studies. We did this through strengthening research infrastructure, building sustainable teams and by developing a cadre of skilled researchers and future leaders.
IMPACT’s research capacity strengthening was guided by the following core principles:
- Owned and driven by the Asian partners with guidance and support from the capacity leads
- Informed by detailed capacity assessments covering:
- three levels of capacity (individual, organisational and systems),
- identification of capacity assets and needs of both researchers and decision-makers
- the targeting of specific competencies required at different stages of IMPACT
- Draws on expertise and materials for capacity assessments and building from the CHEPSAA Consortium and informed by the ESSENCE guidance
- Mainstreamed within IMPACT’s research and includes targeted activities e.g. supervision, mentoring, webinars
Our structured approach to capacity strengthening targeted both researchers and decision-makers, covered individual, organisational and systems capacities and was reflective of capacity requirements at different stages of the IMPACT programme.
We also ensured that capacity building was threaded through all activities. From our experience, such an approach helps build a strong culture of engagement and ensures sustainability of capacity strengthening gains.
Our capacity assessments and capacity building work covered a range of capacity competencies with clear indicators to measure progress, for example:
- Research skills (thematic and methodological expertise)
- Production of academic and non-academic outputs
- Effective leadership, research governance and management structures
- Understanding and improving research-policy links and impact
- Developing partnerships and collaborations
Our strategy and plan included partner-specific and programme-wide activities covering individual, organisational and system level capacities with examples of good practice including:
- Targeted training (e.g. behavioural activation therapy; online surveys post-COVID) and skills development (e.g. intervention adaptation, process evaluation) from the individual studies
- Structured mentorship for earlier-career staff, with tailored plans and tracking of progress by the mentors and mentees
- AIR webinar series involving open access bi-monthly webinars with ASTRA Group
- Research governance i.e. improvement in finance management and reporting guidance
- Implementation support via regular programme reviews
- Networking within partner countries, regionally and internationally
- Research uptake through continuous and close links with the WHO and national policymakers
For more information details, please contact us.
The ‘Writing a scientific article’ mentoring-initiative was run by IMPACT over a 6 month period between June – November 2019. It consisted of two-hour interactive sessions once a month and was aimed at researchers who were non-native speakers of English and planning to write research papers for publication in an English-language journal or contribute to submitting research proposals.
The sessions combined theory and practice of scientific writing with a focus on the participants’ research papers.
Click on the links below to download session slides.