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Table 2 Potential pathways to change: indicators of outputs and outcomes linked to activities primarily at the individual level

From: Indicators for tracking programmes to strengthen health research capacity in lower- and middle-income countries: a qualitative synthesis

Research skills training activities: PhDs, MScs, scholarships, fellowships, and salary supplementation. Training of research support staff, i.e., data managers, research laboratory personnel, statisticians, and research managers.
Outputs Outcomes
Feedback from recipients about career prospects. Development of research skills, i.e., identification of a research problem, analytical review of a scientific article, research proposal, and scientific report writing.
Quality of training.
Balance between training in research methods (i.e., protocol, methods, collection and analysis), research process (i.e., writing, communication, knowledge transfer), and advocacy, promotion, negotiation, and resource mobilisation. Quantitative and qualitative evidence of the effectiveness of the awards (from survey about careers, achievements, and impact).
Evidence that awardees returned to active and independent research in LMICs.
Reasons why trainees did not return/stay in LMICs (e.g., poor career prospects; no opportunity to use skills).
Development of sustainable research collaborations.
For HIC researchers, improved understanding of international research issues and increased desire to collaborate with researchers in developing countries.
New research funding obtained.
Mentoring activities: Individual support for developing skills in research and supervision.
Outputs Outcomes
Number of trainees with a mentor. Number of grantees working as senior researchers and their location (e.g., academia, in government agencies, or private sector).
Knowledge of reasons for lack of career development, i.e., lack of resources, supervision, and collaborators.
Percent of time spent on research activities.
Scientific conference and workshop activities: Health Economics Conference, EDCTP Forum, networking, sharing with colleagues, and policy makers.
Outputs Outcomes
Number of meetings/workshops attended pre- and post-funding. Research by awardees published in conference proceedings.
Invitations to speak at meetings. Honours, awards, esteem, expanded social networks.
Membership and/or leadership role (e.g., president, chair, secretary, editor) in professional societies, advisory groups or scientific journal.
Course and curricula development activities: Short courses/diplomas/degrees in research skills and methods, and scientific topics developed in response to a needs assessment and embedded within the university.
Outputs Outcomes
Partnerships used for course design, student supervision, mentoring, and bilateral recognition of credits. Secondary benefits to students through training, travel and education opportunities made them ‘diffusers’ of new techniques between institutions.
Courses (e.g., masters, PhD) run by university consortia promoted relationships between universities and/or across specialities (e.g., health economics).
Database of courses; attendance register.  
  1. EDCTP, European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership; HIC, High income country; LMIC, Low- and middle-income countries.