Kirby Institute, Level 6 Seminar Room, Wallace Wurth Building, UNSW
Skye McGregor - "Health research capacity building: what is it and how do we measure it?"
Abstract: Health improvement in developing countries depends on research that is locally relevant, meets the priority needs of populations and translates into policy change, but many countries have limited research capacity. While capacity building has become an explicit objective of development programs, it is often unclear what impact it has had, either in terms of improved ability to conduct research, and health outcomes. To better understand research capacity building, we undertook a series of projects aimed at assessing its impact and other characteristics in developing countries. The first project used a bibliometric methodology to analyse trends and predictors in authorship in peer reviewed HIV research. The second evaluated the impact on research involvement of attendance at an international conference for developing country attendees. The third project followed up UNSW School of Public Health and Community Medicine graduates to determine predictors of research careers and analyse research output since graduation. Considering challenges of research capacity and limited resources in low and middle income settings, the fourth project examined how health research priorities are set in developing countries.
Biography : Skye McGregor is Program Manager for the Public Health Interventions Research Group. She completed a Bachelor of Science and Masters in International Development at the University of New South Wales. The focus of her work at Kirby is research with vulnerable populations, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. She is currently involved in a number of projects, including: STRIVE, a large community randomized trial throughout the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia, aimed at reducing rates of STIs; a HPV surveillance project examining HPV genotypes in Indigenous women post implementation of universal vaccination in Australia; and a study assessing HIV knowledge and testing, risk behaviour and health service usage in people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds in NSW. She is also currently undertaking a PhD examining health research capacity building in low and middle income countries.