Skip to main content

Table 3 Potential pathways to change: indicators of outputs and outcomes linked to activities primarily at the institutional level

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

Human resources strengthening activities: Staff training and recruitment (e.g., data management, laboratory scientists), including salaries. Strengthening inter-staff and inter-student relationships. Promoting inter-disciplinarity, diversity, and specialization.
Outputs Outcomes
Numbers of potential supervisors. Recruitment and retention of researchers, supervisors, and core staff.
Capacity to mentor junior researchers, take on
leadership and inspirational roles. Clear research career paths/possibilities.
Institutional destination/return home of researchers and graduates. Involvement of research managers in the collaboration/network.
Activities for strengthening research infrastructure and management: Support for infrastructure (e.g., laboratory facilities, equipment, and maintenance; libraries, IT, computers). Setting up ethical review boards, engagement of stakeholders and secretariats. Improved governance, planning, strengthening of financial reporting, institutional evaluation capacity, and gender analysis.
Outputs Outcomes
Establishment of cross-cutting projects, sharing of equipment (e.g., fridge, freezer, thermocycler, microscopes, centrifuge, and computer), staff (e.g., lab technicians), and systems (e.g., data management) facilitates integration of research activities. Better access to resources (e.g., staff, libraries, journals, equipment).
Research staff satisfied with institution’s research services (i.e., workplace, library, internet access, journal access, lab facilities, purchasing system, maintenance, human resources).
Standard operating procedures, quality assurance mechanisms.
Improved management and administrative capacity and technical capacity (e.g., for lab quality control, trial monitoring services, data management, and data analysis support).
A research support centre, scientific steering committee, institutional governance structure, and organisational chart.
Commitment to or implementation of strategic
planning, management, new policies, resource allocations. Achievement of international accreditation, e.g., of laboratories able to attract private funding as well.
Evidence of a transferable partly self-sustaining model (salaries externally supported) for Research Support Centre.
Scientific collaboration activities: Promotion of collaborations for North–South and South-South and/or regional partnerships, sometimes restricted to existing grantees, or projects led from the South.
Outputs Outcomes
Formal agreements, including for data sharing. Collaborations characterised by trust and commitment, and continue after award concludes.
Site inspections, meetings together.
Joint PhD students, projects, and technologies shared between collaborators.
  Benefits for northern institutions (i.e., understand LMICs health system, engage with research and training institutions).