+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Challenges and opportunities in building health research capacity in Tanzania: a case of the National Institute for Medical Research



Challenges and opportunities in building health research capacity in Tanzania: a case of the National Institute for Medical Research



Tanzania Journal of Health Research 13(5 Suppl 1): 427-443



Capacity building is considered a priority for health research institutions in developing countries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. However, in many countries including Tanzania, much emphasis has been directed towards human resources for health with the total exclusion of human resources for health research. The objective of this study was to systematically investigate the capacity building process for the Tanzanian National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) over a 30-year period and identify the challenges and opportunities in creating a critical mass of multi-disciplinary research scientists that is required for achieving the intended health benefits. A desk review of personnel database was conducted for information covering 1980-2009 on academic qualifications, training, research experience and research output. The current staff curriculum vitae (CV) were reviewed to gather information on researchers' employment record, training, training support, area of expertise and scientific output. Interviews were conducted with a cross section of researchers on capacity development aspects using a self-administered questionnaire. In-depth interviews were also conducted with the current and former NIMR Management to seek information on capacity development challenges. A review was also done on staff personal files, annual reports, strategic plans and other occasional documents. A total of 163 CV were assessed; of these, 76.7% (125) were for Research Scientists (RS), 20.9% (34) Laboratory Technologists (LT) and 2.4% (4) for System Analysts. The Institute had 13 research scientists upon its establishment. Since 1980, NIMR has recruited a total of 185 Research Scientists. By 2009, NIMR had a total scientific workforce of 170 staff (RS= 82.4%; LT= 17.6%). Of the 140 RSs, 37 (26.4%), were first degree; 77 (55.5%) second degree while 26 (18.6%) were PhD degree holders. Of the total of 78 researchers interviewed, 55 (70.5%) indicated to have accessed postgraduate training through their personal efforts and 23 through institutional arrangement. Sixty (77%) respondents were satisfied with their tenure at NIMR. Seventy (89%) indicated that they had not at any point considered leaving NIMR. Most (79%) research scientists were recruited while holding a first degree, a few (17%) with second degree while only one (0.7%) holding a PhD degree. NIMR has experienced a research scientist attrition rate of 17.5%. Staff retention factors included availability of training opportunities; passion for conducting research; and good career prospects. Despite having a training programme, the institute has never at any moment been able to hold its own training resources. Being a public research institution, NIMR receives its core funding from the government of the United Republic of Tanzania. The bulk of the funding appears to be spent on personnel emoluments that take up to 85% (mean = 66%) of the allocated budget. In conclusion, the current NIMR's research capacity building is dependent mainly on foreign funding and personal initiatives. There is an urgent need to increase local funding for capacity building and conduct of research. A programme should be put in place to ensure sustainability of the capacity building process.

Please choose payment method:






(PDF emailed within 1 workday: $29.90)

Accession: 057376056

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 26591996


Related references

Developing health research capability in Tanzania: from a Swiss Tropical Institute Field Laboratory to the Ifakara Centre of the Tanzanian National Institute of Medical Research. Acta Tropica 57(2-3): 153-173, 1994

Inserm national institute of health and medical research colloquium vol. 144. first colloquium of the national health insurance trust for salaried workers national institute for health and research from biomedical research to health care paris france november 26 27 1985. Derlin, M M And O Sabouraud Colloque Inserm (Institut National De La Sante Et De La Recherche Medicale), Vol 144 Premier Colloque Cnamts-Inserm: De La Recherche Biomedicale A La Pratique Des Soins; (Inserm (National Institute Of Health And Medical Research) Colloquium, Vol 144 First Colloquium Of The National Health Insurance Trust For Salaried Workers-National Institute For Health And Research: From Biomedical Research to Health Care); Paris, France, November 26-27, 1985 801p Ed, 1986

National institute of health and medical research colloquium vol. 130. pharmacovigilance and epidemiology conference of the national institute for health and medical research and of the administration of pharmacy and medication gouvieux chantilly france march 14 15 1985. Lazar, M P And M J Dangoumau (Ed ) Colloque Inserm (Institut National De La Sante Et De La Recherche Medicale), Vol 130 Pharmacovigilance Et Epidemiologie (National Institute Of Health And Medical Research Colloquium, Vol 130 Pharmacovigilance And Epidemiology); Conference Of The National Institute For Health And Medical Research And Of The Administration Of Pharmacy And Medication, Gouvieux-Chantilly, France, Mar 14-15, 231p Inserm: Paris, France Illus Paper 231p, 1985

The National Institute of Nursing Research/National Institute of Mental Health Mentorship Program: Building the capacity of psychiatric mental health nurse researchers. Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association 7(5): 171-172, 2001

Tapping the potential of the National Institute for Health Research Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) to develop research capacity and capability in nursing. Journal of Research in Nursing 15(3): 215-225, 2010

Study of the biological research conducted at the air pollution research center of the institut national de la sante et de la recherche medicale national health and medical research institute. Englund, H M And W T Beery (Ed ) Proceedings Of The International Clean Air Congress, Vol 2 Xxv+1354p Illus Maps Academic Press: New York, N Y , U S A; London, England 221-234, 1971

Technology advancement for studying gene expression and gene function: a workshop report. Sponsored by National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Center for Human Genome Research, National Center for Research Resources, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA. Mammalian Genome 5(3): 127-130, 1994

Simulation Research in Gastrointestinal and Urologic Care-Challenges and Opportunities: Summary of a National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering Workshop. Annals of Surgery, 2017

Inserm national institute of health and medical research colloquium vol 213 europe and drugs realities and ambitions fourth colloquium of the dphm inserm director of pharmacy and drugs and national institute of health and medical research paris france november 26 29 1990. Dphm/Inserm (Directeur De La Pharmacie Et Du Medicament/Institut National De La Sante Et De La Recherche Medicale) Colloque Inserm (Institut National De La Sante Et De La Recherche Medicale), Vol 213 L'europe Du Medicament: Realites Et Ambitions; (Inserm (National Institute Of Health And Medical Research) Colloquium, Vol 213 Europe And Drugs: Realities And Ambitions); Fourth Colloquium Of The Dphm-Inserm (Director Of Pharmacy And Drugs And National Institute Of Health And Medical Rese, 1990

Building capacity for global mental health research: challenges to balancing clinical and research training. Lancet. Psychiatry 5(8): 612-613, 2018

Child and adolescent services research at the national institute of mental health: Research opportunities in an emerging field. Journal of Child and Family Studies 2(3): 259-268, 1993

Working Group on Trauma Research Program summary report: National Heart Lung Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Department of Defense (DOD). Journal of Trauma 57(2): 410-415, 2004

Research capacity building integrated into PHIT projects: leveraging research and research funding to build national capacity. Bmc Health Services Research 17(Suppl 3): 825, 2017

Challenges of the health research system in a medical research institute in Iran: a qualitative content analysis. Global Journal of Health Science 7(1): 69-78, 2014

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research: Support of Capacity Building in Rehabilitation Research. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation 84(12): 1039-1040, 2005