Background The Global Health Network improves the health research capacity of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) by facilitating know-how and knowledge exchange between organisations, disease areas, regions and roles. We show how we use the sharing phenomenon to transform and drive health research in resource-limited settings.
Methods We harnessed cutting-edge technology that facilitates engagement of medical researchers and healthcare professionals in low-resource settings and creates opportunity for knowledge exchange and capacity development in global health. We built highly functional digital communities of practice (CoPs) that serve as learning and sharing tools for researchers, and a gateway for sharing experience about disease research. These CoPs are intertwined with regional activities such as training workshops with health care professionals, which helps to enhance engagement and impact.
Results We disseminate resources with collaborators to enable research in LMICs via 37 CoPs. The data derived from these CoPs is used to identify knowledge-gaps in research capacity, as well as a guide to the development of resources and tools, such as standardised outcome measures. The network has developed 25 free peer-reviewed e-learning courses covering a wide range of topics, as well as high-quality professional development tools. We highlight the WHO-TDR Professional Development Scheme that tracks and guides training and career development. The network has trained over 33 500 professionals (with >400 k courses taken) across 119 LMICs on the principles of good clinical practices ensuring the safety of research participants and the integrity and validity of research data.
Conclusion The Global Health Network is enabling research in areas where data is missing by providing tools, training, and resources whilst supporting and training research teams. The next step is to widen this impact and invite new researchers to drive and enable more and better clinical research in places and situations where evidence is still woefully lacking.
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