Developing an International Research for Health Network


This project aimed to build a multidisciplinary network of early career researchers around health and particaption. The project used participative methods  to build the SHAPEin network (Strengthening Health and Participatory Engagement internationally) beyond the original 4 partners  - it now spans 9 institutions in 7 countries.

The network has devised an innovative research framework to co-ordinate and tackle key research, policy and practice challenges in health systems strengthening in developing countries. It has generated a series of bids for further research, and two academic publications are being prepared. The network has also spawned a collaborative Masters in Public Health programme to address the continuing professional development of public health practitioners in Northern Nigeria.

Individuals involved in the network have had varying degrees of success in their careers, but all have been exposed to very different socio-political and cultural contexts,  and working in international teams to explore and devise research agendas, construct research bids, and write academic publications.

The network (like health systems) had significant power and knowledge imbalances, and has tried (not always successfully) to address these. The development of the network was hampered by the complexity and unpredictability of  visa regulations and processes for travel by nationals from developing countries and by some illness.


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