The HPTN 071/ PopART community engagement team in collaboration with other Zambart units conducted a two-day research literacy workshop for civil society and community-based organisations at Zambart House from 2-3 September, 2015.
The purpose of the CPP workshop was to orient the members about research, and in particular clinical trials and social research. The workshop was aimed at raising awareness among civil society and community-based advocacy organisations working in HIV prevention and treatment on the importance of research in generating evidence for advocacy and influencing policy.
The workshop also emphasised the importance of using a systematic approach to data collection and analysis for research findings to be credible.
As a health research organisation, Zambart has established the Community Partners Platform (CPP), a vehicle through which it engages with various civil society stakeholders and advocacy groups in the research activities the organisation undertakes.
CPP comprises 7 main organisations representing People Living with HIV such as the Network of Zambian People living with HIV (NZP+), Treatment Advocacy and Literacy Campaign (TALC), Zambia Network of ARV users (ZNARVs), and International Community of Women living with HIV (ICW).
Some of the topics discussed during the workshop included the important contents of a study protocol; principles of social and clinical research; and the role of ethics and Good Clinical Practice (GCP) in ensuring that research participants are respected and data collected from them is treated with utmost confidentiality.
Musonda Simwinga, the PopART study community engagement lead said the CPP participants found the workshop useful and applicable to their work, with some expressing concern for instance, that government had not taken seriously findings of their survey on patient experiences with frequent treatment regime changes because their surveys had not been systematic.
Mr Simwinga said, the CPP members requested for more skills building activities with some expressing interest in protocol writing and capacity building in data collection and analysis, particularly the use of qualitative data analysis software, Atlas ti.