Too often in Africa, new health knowledge is not implemented in the community, because proposed changes do not fit local context/culture, lack local champions, or available resources. Daily health care demands end up taking precedence over developing strategies to improve the system. Imported, top-down change ideas have also failed if they are context and culturally inappropriate. The need in Africa to build research capacity so local health care providers can solve local problems was recognized by African leaders and governments as an urgent problem many years ago. However, lack of training, funding opportunities, and mentors has proven to be a major obstacle in the countries needing improved research capacity the most.
Microfinance has shown that a small infusion of capital can “prime the pump” to creative local economic productivity. Since 2008 MicroResearch has used a similar approach to train local health care professionals to find sustainable solutions to local health problems using community focused research. Through three stages:
- research training workshops
- coaching to prepare proposals
- funding and translating projects
MicroResearch ensures the small research projects will have a real impact on health. Training research skills across the entire health-care provider spectrum also unleashes a local culture of inquiry, to identify and solve new problems.
MicroResearch, IWK Health Centre
Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program (CCHCSP)
Healthy Child Uganda
Save the Children Uganda
MicroResearch Program Process
FIVE YEAR SUMMARY
The article "MicroResearch: Finding sustainable local health solutions in East Africa through small research studies", authored by N.E. MacDonald, R. Bortolussi, J. Kabakyenga, S. Pemba, B. Estambale, K.H.M. Kollmann, R. Odoi Adome, and M. Appletoln Published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Global Health outlines the the progress that the MicroResearch Project has made in the last five years. Please take the time to read the attachment below to see just how MicroResearch is progressing in East Africa.