In 2009, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) jointly developed a new paradigm for operational research (OR) capacity building and started a new process of appointing and supporting OR fellows in the field.
This case study describes:
the appointment of two OR fellows in The Union South-East Asia Office (USEA), New Delhi, India;
how this led to the development of an OR unit in that organisation;
achievements over the 5-year period from June 2009 to June 2014;
challenges and lessons learnt.
In June 2009, the first OR fellow in India was appointed on a full-time basis and the second was appointed in February 2012—both had limited previous experience in OR. From 2009 to 2014, annual research output and capacity building initiatives rose exponentially, and included:
- facilitation at 61 OR training courses/modules;
- publication of 96 papers, several of which had a lasting impact on national policy and practice;
- providing technical assistance in promoting OR;
- building the capacity of medical college professionals in data management;
- support to programme staff for disseminating their research findings;
- reviewing 28 scientific papers for national or international peer-reviewed journals;
- developing 45 scientific abstracts for presentation at national and international conferences.
The reasons for this success are highlighted along with ongoing challenges. This experience from India provides good evidence for promoting similar models elsewhere.
This research was supported by the UK Department for International Development’s Operational Research Capacity Building Programme led by the International Union Against TB and Lung Disease (The Union)
A. M. V. Kumar, S. Satyanarayana, S. Dar Berger, S. S. Chadha, R. J. Singh, P. Lal,J. Tonsing, A. D. Harries
(2015) Promoting operational research through fellowships: a case study from the South-East ASIA Union Office
Public Health Action vol 5 no 1 https://dx.doi.org/10.5588%2Fpha.14.0111
Promoting operational research through fellowships: a case study from the South-East ASIA Union Office