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Supporting universities to develop a research agenda that responds to national or regional priorities

posted Apr 1, 2011, 9:00 AM by CARTA Administrator   [ updated Apr 1, 2011, 9:00 AM ]

CARTA is concerned with promoting population and public health training and research in Africa, a continent profoundly challenged by complex burdens that affect its populations. These derive from persistent endemic diseases, escalating HIV/AIDS prevalence, and emerging chronic noncommunicable diseases, combined with political instability, economic insecurity, climate change, weak health systems, and the dearth of qualified health and medical staff.

To address these challenges, Africa needs a critical mass of skilled population and public health scholars who adopt a multidisciplinary approach and are committed to disseminating their findings and ensuring the translation of research into policy and programs. CARTA investigators and their institutions are ideally placed to provide leadership and define research agendas in population and public health around welldefined, high-priority and policy-relevant areas. As illustrated in information set out elsewhere in this application, CARTA members provide international leadership in social science and public health research, with recognised strengths methodologically in ethnographic, demographic and epidemiological research, and in topical content areas including sexuality and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, ageing, and the prevention and management of chronic conditions, and in infectious disease prevention and control.

Drawing on collaborative experiences among consortium partners, and on the partners' wider networks, CARTA aims to provide best-practice leadership to participating institutions to ensure that resources and funds are well-managed; that universities prioritise research and plan ahead; and that institutions engage in locally- or regionally-relevant research. CARTA will run workshops to assist partner-institutions to develop relevant research agendas drawing on a range of disciplines.

CARTA's emphasis on the creation of sustainable multidisciplinary research initiatives will facilitate the development of a coherent research agenda. Ultimately, this will enhance the visibility of the university as an authority in specific research areas and strengthen its capacity to attract human and material resources. Experienced faculty from our northern partners have committed to spend their sabbatical leave at participating universities to foster this objective.

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