This paper undertakes a systematic review of academic and grey literature to identify trends in and approaches to health research capacity development.
UKCDS has completed a mapping of 300 health research capacity strengthening (HRCS) schemes in LMICs, in consultation with UK, European and international donor agencies and research funders.
The mapping is intended to provide a (non-exhaustive) overview of the many funding initiatives that aim to strengthen health research capacity in LMICs, as well as key qualitative findings gathered through semi-structured interviews.
At its core, it explores funders’ activities at three different levels of the innovation system: support for individuals; institutions; and the enabling environment for research. It moves on to consider the geographical scope of these initiatives and the thematic areas of health research for which there is most support.
The Discussion section of the mapping considers some of the core challenges associated with the mapping exercise, such as the increasing embeddedness of capacity strengthening within larger, more holistic research programmes. The report briefly explores new modalities of capacity strengthening, including South-South cooperation, involvement of the BRICS countries and the role of new digital technologies such as MOOCs in an ever more complex and crowded landscape. An encouraging trend is the increasing transfer of research governance responsibilities from OECD donor organisations to the LMIC institutions which carry out the research.
At the start of each section of the mapping is a summary of the key findings, and the main body of the report is followed by an annex which summarises a number of funders’ key initiatives in more detail. A blog outlining the main headlines from the mapping can be found here.