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INDEPTH Training and Research Centres of Excellence (INTREC)

Research project INTREC aims to address health inequities in LMICs of Africa and Asia by developing sustainable capacity in health-research and its social determinants, and by facilitating translation of research findings into policy and practice in both regions.

The major causes of poor health are rooted in our societies. Governments are encouraged to lead global action on the social determinants of health with the aim of achieving health equity. To achieve this, specific, timely and relevant evidence on the relationship between determinants and outcomes is required. This evidence is limited, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Therefore, partners in the INTREC consortium see the need for research on social determinants of health and capacity-building activities to enable such research. INTREC’s collaboration aims to address health inequities in LMICs of Africa and Asia by developing sustainable capacity in health research and its social determinants, as well as by facilitating translation of research findings into policy and practice in both regions. INTREC also advocates for gender equity in health research by promoting women scientists. INTREC activities cover three African (Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania) and four Asian countries (Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, India) and are concentrated in two training centres in Ghana and Indonesia. The centres are focal points for research on social determinants of health in LMICs, thus enabling extensive South-South and North-South networks and research cooperation. INTREC’s approach to capacity-building is holistic and includes both, providing state-of –the-art region-specific training for young researchers, and educating decision-makers on social determinants of health. The work is being carried out by a strong Consortium team of five university-based centres in Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Indonesia and the USA, as well as one research network of demographic surveillance sites in LMICs - INDEPTH.

Head of project

Project overview

Project period

2012-01-01 2015-06-30

Funding

European Commission, 2012: SEK 18,054,000

Research subject

Public health and community medicine

Project description

Summary:
The major causes of poor health are rooted in our societies. Governments are encouraged to lead global action on the social determinants of health with the aim of achieving health equity. To achieve this, specific, timely and relevant evidence on the relationship between determinants and outcomes is required. This evidence is limited, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Therefore, partners in the INTREC consortium see the need for research on social determinants of health and capacity-building activities to enable such research.

INTREC’s collaboration aims to address health inequities in LMICs of Africa and Asia by developing sustainable capacity in health research and its social determinants, as well as by facilitating translation of research findings into policy and practice in both regions. INTREC also advocates for gender equity in health research by promoting women scientists.

INTREC activities cover three African (Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania) and four Asian countries (Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, India) and are concentrated in two training centres in Ghana and Indonesia. The centres are focal points for research on social determinants of health in LMICs, thus enabling extensive South-South and North-South networks and research cooperation.

INTREC’s approach to capacity-building is holistic and includes both, providing state-of –the-art region-specific training for young researchers, and educating decision-makers on social determinants of health. The work is being carried out by a strong Consortium team of five university-based centres in Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Indonesia and the USA, as well as one research network of demographic surveillance sites in LMICs - INDEPTH.

Problem:
INTREC aims to address health inequities in LMICs of Africa and Asia by developing sustainable capacity in health-research and its social determinants, and by facilitating translation of research findings into policy and practice in both regions.

Aim:
INTREC’S aim is to develop and provide appropriate training for researchers in Asia and Africa. Specifically, (i) to investigate the social determinants of health and health inequities in their countries, and (ii) to learn about effective presentation of their findings to decision makers at national and local/district level. Two training and research centres will be established – one in Accra, Ghana; and the other in Yogyakarta, Indonesia – and these will serve scientists from Ghana, Tanzania, South Africa, Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

(Expected) results:
Our vision is to address health inequities in LMICs of Africa and Asia by developing a sustainable capacity for health-research and its social determinants, and by facilitating translation of research findings into policy and practice in both regions. This coordination action also advocates for gender equity in health research by promoting female scientists.

Potential applications:
The INTREC approach will be evaluated at the end of a 3.5-year period. Based on the results of this evaluation, a conceptual framework on how to build sustainable capacity for research on health and its social determinants that could be applied in other LMICs will be developed.