What happens after participants complete a Union-MSF structured operational research training course?

N Guillerm, K Tayler-Smith, S D Berger, K Bissell, A M V Kumar, A Ramsay, A J Reid, R Zachariah, A D Harries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


SETTING: Eight operational research (OR) courses run by the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) for participants from low- and middle-income countries. There is a knowledge gap about whether participants continue OR after course completion.

OBJECTIVES: To determine 1) the research output of participants and their institutions after course completion; 2) the influence of OR fellowships on output; and 3) the output of non-OR fellows stratified by sex, region and staff position.

DESIGN: A self-administered e-mail questionnaire survey.

RESULTS: Of 83 participants who completed a course, 76 (92%) responded to the questionnaire. Following course completion, 47 (62%) participants completed new research projects, 38 (50%) published papers (vs. 25 [33%] who had published before the course), 42 (55%) presented posters or oral abstracts at conferences, 33 (43%) facilitated at further OR courses, 29 (38%) reviewed scientific papers, 25 (33%) secured further OR funding and 55 (72%) said their institutions were involved in OR implementation or capacity building. OR fellows performed better than non-OR fellows. Among the latter, males and participants from Asia had better output than females and participants from Africa (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: The significant proportion of participants continuing to engage in OR after course completion provides encouraging evidence of the long-term value of this capacity building model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-95
Number of pages7
JournalPublic health action
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2014


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