Abstract: Designing and conducting dissemination and implementation research training in resource-constrained settings - The experience of ICOHRTA AIDS/TB in Uganda

The following abstract was presented at the Implementation Science and Global Health satellite meeting on March 17, 2010 at Bethesda, Maryland.


Nelson Kakande, MA
Program Coordinator
International Clinical Operational and Health Services Research Training Award for AIDS/TB (ICOHRTA AIDS/TB)
Joint Clinical Research Centre (Kampala, Uganda)

FIC Award


Dissemination and implementation (D&I) research is an emerging field of interest because it emphasizes bridging the gap from research, to practice and to policy. However, there are limited skills, tools and training approaches for scientists who may be interested in this field. Given the critical need to accelerate the translation of evidence-based research into practice and policy, training scientists in this field is very important but requires appropriate skills, tools and methods to be fully developed. The goal of this training workshop was to provide a training opportunity for Ugandan scientists in this field and to explore the skills and training methodology desirable for conducting training in this field.  Preparations for this training were supported by the International Clinical Operations and Health Services Research Training Awards for AIDS/TB (NIH/FIC, U2R-TW0006879-06), through faculty members in collaboration with officers at National Institutes for Health, Fogarty International Center.

The training took place on December 7-10, 2009 at Hotel Africana Kampala, and was facilitated by 2 international and 7 local resource persons. Trainees (58 participants) were purposively selected and they included a mix of senior/junior faculty, researchers, university lecturers, program managers/coordinators, health personnel, policy, monitoring and evaluation officers. Participants were from health/ research/training institutions, WHO, CDC, and NGOs.

The workshop involved lectures, practical group sessions (involving writing research ideas and concepts), presentations by trainees, reading materials, field trip and watching a video on Development of Anti-Retroviral Therapy in Africa (DART), and an Operations Research case study. The following broad areas were covered:

  • Overview of Dissemination and Implementation Research;
  • Role of Implementation Science in HIV Vaccine Trials and Scale-Up;
  • Operations Research;
  • From Research to Dissemination to Policy to Implementation;
  • Public engagement and implementation research/global health;
  • Ethics in Implementation Research;
  • Operations Research: Understanding systems and answering problems with models; and
  • Introduction to NIH Structure and Review Process.

Case studies of successful projects, challenges encountered and sharing experiences on Implementation and Operations Research were presented.  The training included field trip to two sites with four projects that demonstrate systematic implementation of evidence-based research practice at facility and community levels.

Key lessons learned and recommendations

A multi-disciplinary team of trainees/workshop facilitators with skills in adult learning is very important as acknowledged by all 56 participants who filled end of workshop evaluation questionnaire.  There is a need to identify and visit local sites/projects where Implementation research is demonstrated.  There is also a need to compare related Implementation research programs as case studies for learning purposes.  End of the training workshop evaluation is important to find what is suitable for diversity of trainees.  Dissemination and Implementation Research is very important in resource-constrained settings.  Themes and training methodologies that were used for this workshop could be adopted when developing the curriculum for this field.  A mix of international experts and local persons as facilitators helps in building critical mass of local persons well-versed in the field. There is a need to train local persons as trainers in this field for sustainability.

Updated April 2010