Background In 2013, WHO stated that unless low-income countries become the generators, rather than the recipients, of health research data there will never be any real improvement in the devastating public health challenges these countries face. The Global Health Network was cited as an important agent for change in addressing this need.
The Global Health Network built an innovative digital platform, generating and supporting communities of practice focused on global health research. We have established a vast online knowledge-sharing resource, so far visited by more than 1.5 million frontline healthcare workers and researchers globally. Over 400,000 times online modules were taken by users from our target countries using our Training Centre, which offers a wide range of high-quality research skills courses. We also support skills development through regionally-led activities. Here we present how our approach is applied to support preparedness for epidemic outbreaks in Africa.
Methods A community of practice was set up for the EDCTP2 ALERRT programme on The Global Health Network platform (https://alerrt.tghn.org/). It provides a mechanism for research staff to work together, share ideas, methods and approaches to foster knowledge exchange and collaboration. The ALERRT community of practice platform hosts training courses, help topics, templates, guidance – everything that is needed to run a good clinical study. The initial set of resources is available now, others are being developed following the knowledge gap analysis. In addition, our online platform offers free participation in the Professional Development Scheme – a unique framework to track research skills development.
Results The ALERRT capacity development community of practice was launched in April 2018. We will present how this regionally-championed initiative is being taken up and what difference it is already making to the community of researchers.
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