A new initiative in Albania supports young researchers to conduct operational research in health

Albania faces lack of evidence in primary health care and public health that creates a gap between policy making and planning processes and operations to undertake in order to gain health benefits. There is lack of human resources and capacities to conduct operational research and insufficient financing opportunities.

Therefore, Health for All Project in Albania (HAP) launched a funding initiative to support research capacity building through application for operational research micro-grants. The main two objectives of the initiative are: (I) to provide funding opportunities for conducting operational research on different aspects of health services in Albania with a focus on primary health care and public health and (II) strengthen research capacities of young researchers through training and coaching during implementation of operational research activities.

HAP invited young researchers to apply for operational research financial support in selected domains of health such as human resources in health, non-communicable diseases as a public health issue, health information system in primary health care and beyond, quality of primary health care in Albania etc. (to download the call for application click here. A Research Advisory Board, composed by senior academics and researchers in public health and health service management, has been established to provide technical assistance concerning the technical criteria of the initiative and selection process of applicants.

The first cohort of young researchers has been selected among dozens of applications and the operational research work is expected to begin in the upcoming months. It is worth mentioning that most of winning research proposals will be conducted by female researchers. The young researchers will also attend courses on research related topics.

The ultimate goal of HAP is capacitating young researchers in Albania to conduct operational research activities thus increasing the offer of sound and systematic evidence-based data that would provide to policymakers reliable and efficient knowledge on the health system.