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Advancing Science for Global Health
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Effective research capacity strengthening: A quick guide for funders


To prevent capacity gaps from blocking the equitable uptake of research opportunities, many funders embed capacity strengthening initiatives into the research programmes they support. Effective Research Capacity Strengthening: A Quick Guide for Funders is an accessible guide to the latest evidence and best practice in this field. The guide was published by ESSENCE on Health Research.

Having elicited advice and expertise from funders around the world, the authors offer a concise definition of research capacity strengthening, and identify the central principles that underpin the concept. They then identify ways in which funders can improve existing systems to ensure that awardees’ proposals for capacity-enhancing projects are well designed, carefully implemented, and evaluated in ways that encourage participants, as well as the wider research community, to learn from their experiences. Relevant case studies and a detailed checklist provide practical insights from existing and recent programmes.

The aim of this Good Practice Document is to encourage research funders and their partners to use and improve on evidence-informed approaches to accelerating research capacity improvements among individuals and institutions within and across national and international boundaries.

Updated June 28, 2023