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Table 2 Description of the identified strategies

From: A scoping review of non-communicable disease research capacity strengthening initiatives in low and middle-income countries

Strategies Brief description
Commissioned Research Fellows/trainees are provided the responsibility to manage a research or a component of a research project in their own institution or local areas. The capacity builder convenes them at critical stages for the research for training, mentoring and networking. They are expected to deliver outputs of the research. ANPPA is an example of this model.
Exchange & Mentoring An RCS model where two institutions run an exchange program. Trainees from both institutions visit the other and participate in collaborative research. A team of mentors from both institutions will provide an oversight support to the program. ENCORE has used this model.
Embedded RCS: Research projects with an embedded RCS program are implemented in LMICs. The integration could be either at specific component of the research or throughout the research process from conception to dissemination. Most of the TOBAC projects have demonstrated this approach. Unlike commissioned research, in this model research activities are not “commissioned” to fellows/trainees.
Collaborative Center Centers or institutions from different countries become part of a larger collaborative centre which leads the management of a collaborative research project and the associated capacity building efforts within it. By participating in the collaborative research, the individual Centers will build their capacity. The AWI-gen study is a typical example of this model.
Institutional Research Training Two or more institutions collaborative to design and implement a research training program (short-term, medium-term or long-term) which could be online or face-to-face. The program may include other elements such as institutional capacity building and networking. NCD lifespan projects have used this model.
Funding & Networking This one usually emerges from funders’ side. Through successful grant application, a researcher or a research team receives funding for the proposed research and joins a research network. The funder may then institute targeted RCS efforts in the network. GACD initiative has applied this model.
Knowledge sharing An approach that creates a knowledge sharing platform where NCD related knowledge is sourced, stored and shared to researchers, policy-makers and other potential users. By providing better access to up-to-date NCD information, this approach promotes NCD research and enhances NCD research capacity among researchers and evidence use among policy makers. KSN-NCD adopted this model.
Professionals’ network A network of professionals (individuals) working on NCDs facilitates information exchange and advocacy. It also creates fertile ground for design and implementation of training and research programs within the network. This is a self-led initiative with support from partner institutions. YP-CDN is a typical case of this model.
Potter–Brough model A systematic capacity strengthening model involving four levels: 1) Systems level: structures, systems and roles; 2) Infrastructure: facilities, resources and staffs; 3) Individual level: knowledge, skills and confidence; and 4) performance level: the availability of resources and tools needed to complete activities. INCAN project applied this model of RCS. The model is relatively more comprehensive but could be resource intensive.
Organizational Capacity Strengthening This model involves strengthening organization capacity of an institution so that that institution can develop, implement and evaluate RCS projects on its own or in collaboration with others. The model, as implemented by AACR-AORTC, may require an extended support from the organization involved in strengthening capacity.
Collaborative research Researchers and research institutions work in partnership to design research, look for research funding, implement research and share evidence. This enables researchers to undertake multi-country research projects that could provide internship/fellowship opportunities for early and mid-career researchers. Unlike the collaborative Centre, this one doesn’t involve establishment of a centre.
Multi-Sectoral Research group NCDs have multiple risk factors and require multi-sectoral action. Forming multi-sectoral research groups, such as the Africa-wide NCD research group, would help address the different perspectives required in NCD research and enhances research capacity of the team in producing better quality research.
Centre of excellence Creating Centres of excellence in NCD research, networking them to work together and providing them with the responsibility of NCD-RCS are the main principles of this model. This approach seems to ensure sustainability of RCS in LMICs. NHLBI-UnitedHealth Collaborating Centres of Excellence (COE) program used this model.
Consortium This is an association between two or more research institutions that enable them to involve in common research or pool their resources (including data) for a common research. To cite an example, the CNCD Africa consortium created opportunities for involvement of young researchers in a better NCD research.