Training Workshop on Strengthening Capacity for Implementation Research Initiatives –SCAPIR

In August 2016, the University of Ghana School of Public Health in collaboration with the Alliance for Health Policy & Systems Research (AHPSR), the Special Programme for Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction (HRP), and the Special Program for Research and Training on Tropical Diseases (TDR), solicited for letters of intent for research that seeks to enable the effective implementation of health programmes in Ghana. Grants of US dollars $10,000 per project, was available to support research studies of up to 12 months in duration. A total of 15 proposals were received out of which 5 were successful. The selected proposals are going to be implemented in 2017 in the Eastern, Greater Accra, Brong Ahafo and Upper East Regions. The projects are:

  • Maternal and Neonatal Death Audit recommendations
  • Psychosocial Support for Adolescent with HIV/AIDS
  • Modified Contact Tracing to improve adherence to SP-IPTp programme ANC
  • Complete PNC Package for Newborns
  • Malaria RDTs for test-based management of malaria

A workshop was held from 28th December – 1st December 2016. The purpose of the workshop was to:

  1. Introduce the selected teams (institutions)to
  • Implementation research
  • Methods in IR
  • Ethical issues in IR

  2. Give participants an opportunity to

  • Present and discuss their initial proposals
  • Revise the initial proposal based on knowledge and lessons acquired during the workshop

In his opening statement, the Dean of School of Public Health (SPH), Professor M.K. Richard Adanu, indicated that, SCAPIR would be developing capacity of project implementers, decision-makers and researchers to engage collaboratively in the conduct of implementation research (IR). He explains Strengthening Capacity for Implementation Research (SCAPIR) as is an initiative funded by the World Health Organization (WHO) to develop proposals for conducting IR. The initiative of Implementation Reserch was started two years ago with a few selected institutions as Implementation Research Regional Training Centers (IRRTCs) in Africa, South America, Asia and Europe. The University of Ghana School-Public Health (UGSPH) is the IRRTC for Africa. The overarching goal of SCAPIR is to inform changes towards maximizing benefits from programmes to achieve improved population health. It would address the following specific objectives:

  1. To strengthen capacities of implementers and researchers to engage in IR within existing programmes and systems
  2. To support embedding if IR within existing implementation processes and programme activities
  3. To catalyze the use of research by implementers to improve programme implementation and scale-up.

Participants indicated that the knowledge acquired from the presentations and discussions has helped them to acquire the necessary skills required in the revision of their proposals. The workshop helped them strengthen their capacity in implementation research.