Building on work by the DfID funded ReBUILD research programme, the RECAP project aims to establish a research centre within the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, Sierra Leone, that will serve as a research coordinating centre, and lead on health systems research and capacity strengthening to deliver credible, relevant research for effective policy making and practice.
The Health Systems and Workforce Strengthening Team at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (Foto-Cewek) has been supporting the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS), one of the three constituent colleges of the University of Sierra Leone, to develop institutional capacity for multi-disciplinary health research since 2011. RECAP, an EDCTP-funded grant, extends this Foto-Cewek-COMAHS partnership and will provide support to the Sierra Leone Ethics and Scientific Review Committee (SLECRC), by contributing towards building their in-house capacity to deal with the anticipated increase in ethical review in the post Ebola phase.
In 2016, a capacity assessment was conducted by the Capacity Research in Medecine Unit (CRU) according to the ‘5-step’ approach to research capacity strengthening using key-informant interviews, document review and through observations of facilities at the University of Sierra Leone, COMAHS, and from partner institutions. The focus of the assessment was primarily on ‘institutional’ capacity, to assess the capacity of COMAHS to support the production and uptake of quality research. A number of recommendations were made following the 2016 visit, and a follow-up review by CRU was conducted in 2018.