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Online capacity building in translating research into practice for Latin American researchers

Date and Location




Monday 23 September 2013 - 10:30 - 12:00


Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author

Eleana C Villanueva

Contact person

Eleana C Villanueva
Abstract text
Background:Researchers in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) encounter several constraints that hinder the better use of research for health improvement of the region’s population; research methodologies are not integrated in the medical school curricula and materials in Spanish are not available among others. To address this situation, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) partnered with Cochrane (the Iberoamerican and Canadian Cochrane Centres) and for the first time provided webinars on key research topics for non-English speaking researchers. Objectives:To allow LAC researchers with limited knowledge in health research methodologies and/or non-English speaking researchers to attend free online webinars, conducted in Spanish, from their desks. These activities are ultimately aimed at translating research into practice Methods: Research training needs according to the national health priorities were identified. Specific topics were defined based on the PAHO research policy and surveying PAHO research focal points in LAC and potential participants. The Iberoamerican Cochrane experts designated tutors and a facilitator. The Blackboard Collaborate platform was used. The sessions were structured as 45-minute lectures with 15 minutes of Q/A. The recordings of the sessions were later posted online and the participants were surveyed on the quality and delivery of the webinar. Results: Twelve webinars delivered in two series of six each (2010 and 2011). Over 1000 participants from LAC and from outside the Americas attended the webinars; profiles ranged from students to seasoned researchers (over five publications in peer-reviewed journals); over 600 provided positive feedback. Conclusions: Online webinars are excellent for capacity building owing to their quality and convenience for the users who have rated the webinars as very useful for different reasons. In the future, a more encompassing strategy would be possible. Options for certification are being explored.