CIET’s ADAPT (African Development of AIDS Prevention Trial capacity) project is funded by the HIV Prevention Trials Capacity Building Grants programme of the Global Health Research Initiative in Canada. This project seeks to develop state-of-the-art, autonomous, and sustainable health measurement and planning resources for African countries to better implement and evaluate HIV and AIDS prevention interventions.
The centrepiece of the first phase of ADAPT (2007-2009) was nine weeks of intensive training in randomised controlled trials and epidemiology for planning, attended by African researchers, mainly from SADC countries. Participants also gained practical experience through field work.
The second phase of ADAPT, from the end of 2010 to 2014, provided training in evidence-based decision making to parliamentarians, trained a further cohort of African researchers, provided training in laboratory skills, built capacities in African institutions, and supported development of an open and distance learning Masters in Epidemiology programme.
States in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) are at the epicentre of the AIDS pandemic. In a project from 2014 to 2016, CIET trained HIV researchers and planners from 14 of the 15 SADC member states: ten Anglophone member states (Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe), two Francophone member states (Democratic Republic of Congo and Madagascar), and two Lusophone member states (Angola and Mozambique).
Member states nominated participants to attend three-week intensive training courses, in
Gaborone, Botswana, in English (20), French (12) and Portuguese (12). CIET/PRAM faculty prepared
materials for online learning and led in-person classroom sessions. The courses covered basics of
epidemiology and statistics for planning, participatory research approaches, and knowledge
translation. Following a needs assessment among heads of national AIDS authorities (NAAs), the
heads of these authorities attended a three-day executive workshop on Adaptive Management in
Gaborone, Botswana. Of the 14 NAAs attending, 10 were represented by the head of the NAA in
person, and two by the deputy head.
The project continued to mentor course participants, and many went on to senior positions within the HIV planning mechanisms in their countries.
Funding: HIV fund of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)
Members: Anne Cockcroft, Neil Andersson, Sergio Paredes-Solis
Capacity building is part of the process in all CIET and PRAM projects. CIET/PRAM researchers work with national, regional or local counterparts from government, local NGOs, universities and communities themselves. Funding bodies increasingly recognise the importance of capacity building and allow the costs of this to be included in project budgets.
The Synergy project linked to a trial of universal home visits in Bauchi State, Nigeria, (See Maternal and Child Health) includes training of government officers to manage and monitor the home visits programme. The project has trained core faculty in the Bauchi State College of Nursing and Midwifery and the College of Health Technology. With them, the research team has trained over 60 government officers from local government authorities across the State, in anticipation of wider rollout of the home visits programme by the government. Trained officers from the Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency took over technical and financial management of the home visits in two wards during the funded project.