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Building research capacity and capabilities in Fiji

Mudaliar, Jyotishna and Kool, Bridget and Natasha, Janice and McCool, Judith (2020) Building research capacity and capabilities in Fiji. The Journal of Pacific Research, 21 (5). pp. 265-271. ISSN 1015-7867

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Introduction: A barrier to local investigator-led research in low income settings, is the limited availability of personnel with appropriate research skills or qualifications to conduct the type of research required for evidence-informed policy making to improve access and quality of health care. In response to this, Fiji National University’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences in Fiji, collaborated with academics based at the University of Auckland, New Zealand to deliver a series of research capacity development workshops in Fiji. This paper aims to explore participants’ perceptions of the outcomes of these research workshops and highlights the implications for capacity building in the Pacific Region. Methods: Participants who attended any of the nine workshops (n=123) were contacted via email to take part in a brief survey regarding their perceptions of the effectiveness of the research capacity building workshops. Of the possible 123 participants, 80% (n=76) completed the questionnaire. Results: Findings demonstrate that the majority of participants reported that they had gained research skills from the workshops (75%) including proposal development skills (68%) and knowledge of appropriate research methods (59%). Furthermore, 70% agreed that the workshops built their research confidence. Since attending a workshop, 18% of respondents had successfully applied and received funding for research grants and/or fellowships. Barriers to conducting research included workload (75%), lack of research knowledge, experience or skills (51%), and lack of institutional support (41%). Suggestions for future workshops included: more focus on data analysis, regular courses rather than ‘one offs’, and preparation of research evidence dissemination. Conclusion: Our findings indicate that the research workshops increased individual research capabilities in designing sustainable, locally led initiatives, backed by institutional and supplementary technical support.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Marine Studies
Depositing User: Janice Natasha
Date Deposited: 01 May 2020 00:26
Last Modified: 01 May 2020 00:26

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