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Ethics & Engagement across the Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programmes

Featured Project: Strengthening training of front line staff as a means to enhance community engagement

Mr Francis Kombe is a 2013 Global Health Bioethics Network Bursary Fellow

Biosketch:

Francis Kombe joined KEMRI-WT initially as a fieldworker over 10 years ago. He has risen through the ranks to the current post of community facilitator in charge of coordinating training on communication skills and research ethics for frontline staff, particularly the nearly 300 fieldworkers at KEMRI-WT. In addition, he provides support to immediate FW supervisors and the Community Liaison Group (CLG). Francis holds an MPH from LSHTM and is trained on health research ethics, communication skills, and Training of Trainers. Francis’s interests include empowering frontline staff using participatory training techniques to enable them to acknowledge the critical role they play in health research.

Project Title: Strengthening training of front line staff as a means to enhance community engagement

The proposed project is part of a wider study that aims to find ways in which fieldworkers (frontline workers) involved in research activities can be effectively supported to handle practical and ethical challenges they encounter in their roles.

i.               Survey

Using knowledge and experience of staff in the programme, and a subsequent snowballing approach we will purposively identify about 20 research centres in Sub-Saharan Africa for inclusion in a mapping survey. We will talk to a senior FW and a manager in each centre to identify types of research conducted; history of the research centre; type and nature of frontline staff training; monitoring & supervision; practical challenges and ethical dilemmas FWs face; and structural support within the institution. Analysis of this information will be used to identify a smaller group of FW managers from about 10 centres who will be invited for a consultative workshop.

ii.              Consultative workshop

The aim of the consultative workshop is to share and find appropriate ways to effectively and appropriately support frontline (FW) staff to carry out their roles in international health research institutions in sub Saharan Africa. This workshop will involve participants who are directly involved in support supervision, training, and performance management of FW.

iii.            Analysis and reporting

Analysis of the survey and the consultative workshop will be used to develop a report, and a publication, on experiences of and any emerging recommendations for FW support supervision, training, and performance management in international health research in sub Saharan Africa. The outputs will feed into ongoing work at the KWTP on appropriate support systems for FWs, particularly on training, monitoring and supervision to handle the range of challenges that FWs face in their day to day work.

Comment by Elvis Moyo on April 13, 2014 at 16:49

Am looking forward to the outcome of this fellowship, am sure it will contribute to our structure for the fieldworkers that we would like to develop at MLW.

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