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AFRO-NETS> Reproductive Health Research Methods Course

  • Subject: AFRO-NETS> Reproductive Health Research Methods Course
  • From: Nomsa Mtimkulu <nomsam@obs.co.za>
  • Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2000 12:01:49 -0500 (EST)

Reproductive Health Research Methods Course

17 July - 11 August, 2000
Johannesburg, South Africa


Improving reproductive health is a key objective for governments in
the Southern and Eastern African regions. The purpose of this course
is to support and improve reproductive health policy, planning and
programmes by building capacity in reproductive health research, and
developing a network of regional expertise in reproductive health re-

This course will enable students to define priority research ques-
tions; design and carry out quality research using a range of re-
search methodologies; and to analyse, interpret and present research

Participants will be expected to write and submit proposals by the
end of the course. Participants are encouraged to complete a short
post-course research project for which supervision will be arranged.

Participants should have a research question or topic prepared before
they attend the course. They should also prepare a background on the
topic / question - at least one page.


The course is suitable for those interested in reproductive health
and some previous research experience. Participants must be willing
to apply the knowledge gained from the course in their work situa-
tion, either by doing research, commissioning research or using re-
search findings. The course is suitable for researchers, managers and
service providers in the reproductive health field.

Applicants should hold a first degree, but applicants with experience
in Reproductive Health will be considered.


This course will have a very practical focus and will consider issues
covering the whole of the research process. The course content will
include identifying a research project, reviewing literature and
other resources of information including the Internet, choosing ap-
propriate study designs, ethical considerations and proposal develop-
ment, budgeting, finding appropriate funders for research, implement-
ing and managing a research project, analysis of data and interpreta-
tion, and report writing and dissemination of research findings.

Key issues in reproductive health will be discussed and integrated
into the research methods teaching. These will include: approaches to
Investigation of sexual behaviour, research on safe motherhood, STDs
and HIV, fertility regulation (contraception and unsafe abortion) and
health service delivery issues.

The course will introduce participants to the following:


In-depth interviewing, focus groups, methods used in participatory
rural appraisals, rapid appraisal, sampling, reliability and valid-
ity, data analysis, and writing up qualitative research. It will also
consider issues of when to choose qualitative or qualitative method-


Basic epidemiology, including the various types of study design and
how to choose the appropriate design. Sampling, data handling, using
Epi-Info 2000, basic data analysis and interpretation, questionnaire
design, issues of reliability and validity. The course will also pro-
vide an introduction to demography including population characteris-
tics, sources of data, maternal mortality and morbidity.


Applying research to plan, design and evaluate reproductive health
services; including issues around clinical audit, access to care,
quality of care, effectiveness, efficiency, equity, costing studies,
information systems and using research to improve services. The
course will also discuss issues around how to influence the policy


The course is organised by the Reproductive Health Research Unit in
collaboration with the South African Medical Council and the Health
Systems Trust. The course will be taught by experienced specialists
in the field of reproductive health from the following institutions:
Health Systems Trust, South Africa Medical Research Council, The
World Health Organisation, The Commonwealth Regional Health Secre-
tariat, University of Cape Town, University of Pretoria, University
the Witwatersrand, University of Zimbabwe.


The course is being sponsored by the following organisations: Health
Systems Trust, World Health Organisation, Commonwealth Regional
Health Secretariat and the Wellcome Trust.


The fee for the four week course in Reproductive Health Research
Methods is ZAR 7,000 (US$ 1,400). Fees are for tuition only.

Accommodation and meals for the four weeks can be provided at a cost
of ZAR 10,000 (US$ 1,950). In addition participants will need funds
for travel. A number of bursaries are available which will cover
fees, accommodation and travel.

Fees are payable in advance and attendance on the course may not be-
gin until fees are fully paid. A non-refundable deposit of ZAR 1,000
is required from participants who are self funded.


Applicants should complete an application form and send it as soon as
possible to the address below. Please include with the form:

* A brief curriculum vitae;
* Letter of motivation outlining your previous research experience,
why you want to do the course and its relevance to your work.

Applications will not be accepted without all the above information.

The closing date for applications is 15 March, 2000. As demand for
the course is high, preference will be given to those applying early.


Course Co-ordinator: Nomsa Mtimkulu
Reproductive Health Research Unit
Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital
PO. Bertsham 2013
South Africa
Tel: +27-11-933-1228
Fax: +27-11-933-1227

Please contact Nomsa Mtimkulu at the above address.

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