Engaging local health research communities to enhance long-term capacity building in Brazil.
Madia Lourenço LH., Baker BL., Dias Junior AG., Jamieson NE., Pacheco de Almeida R., Queiroz Gurgel R., Campello Bresani Salvi C., de Souza CG., Longo E., Gomes B., Rocha David M., Galvão Pavan M., Pereira de Castro D., Lacerda Nogueira M., Lang T.
The '2019 Research Capacity Network (REDe) workshop series' was an initiative led by Brazil-based REDe coordinators and The Global Health Network (TGHN) in partnership with Brazilian researchers interested in arboviruses. This workshop initiative has provided crucial training to the local research community offering transferable skills to effectively respond to health emergencies, with an impact beyond arboviral diseases, as evidenced by further activities undertaken during the COVID-19 pandemic. The success of this approach resulted from several factors, especially the workshops' local leadership and the combination of in-person training with online sharing of the resources generated in the local language. Analytics data from REDe online platform evidenced the wider reach of the shared resources to a larger audience than the workshop attendees. Importantly, the impact of this approach extends beyond the workshop series per se, with workshop participants afforded access to wider training, career development and collaborative opportunities through REDe and TGHN platforms. In addition, this initiative design resulted in the development of new collaborations between the workshop leaders and other local researchers, who have been jointly writing research projects and applying for grants. As a result, REDe has become a highly dynamic community of practice for health researchers in the region, strengthening the research culture and improving connectivity. Here, we describe the design and implementation of this initiative and demonstrate the value of integrating local expertise, and a practical workshop series format with digital dissemination of research resources and training materials to generate a vibrant and robust community of practice.