Developing the capacity to effectively carry out public health research is an integral part of health systems at both the national and global levels and strengthening research capacity is recognized as an approach to better health and development in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Especially fields such as sexual and reproductive health (SRH) would require inter-disciplinary teams of researchers equipped with a range of methodologies to achieve this. In November 2013, as part of the International Family Planning Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, a group of African researchers came together to discuss the gaps and strategies to improve sexual and reproductive health research and research capacity strengthening in Africa. This commentary summarizes the three broad areas where the issues and proposed solutions have concentrated around: 1) Addressing research gaps that are most relevant to policies and programmes in SRH, 2) Carrying out high quality and collaborative research, and 3) Translating research findings into SRH policies and programmes. Even though the focus of the discussions was Africa, the issues and proposed solutions can also be applied to other regions facing a high burden of disease with limited resources. The time is now and these can be achieved through synergistic commitment of African and global researchers, funders and organizations.
- Capacity strengthening
- Sexual and reproductive health