Several of Global Health Trials' Regional Faculties have implemented exceptional, cost-effective blended learning schemes, using a computer room and the Global Health Network's free eLearning courses to create a novel way of building their research teams' skills and knowledge. The Nigerian faculty explain their experiences here, and you can download their "how to" document on the right hand side of the screen, to use at your own site!

21st December 2018 • comment

Are you interested in improving global public health? Are willing to live in Zambia for a year? Do you have a Master’s degree? The Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) is the largest independent non-governmental healthcare and research organisation in Zambia. They conduct locally-relevant, leading-edge healthcare research, strengthen primary health care systems in multiple focus areas, and run a state-of-the-art medical and research diagnostic laboratory.

13th February 2018 • comment

Abstract Importance  While guidance on statistical principles for clinical trials exists, there is an absence of guidance covering the required content of statistical analysis plans (SAPs) to support transparency and reproducibility. Objective  To develop recommendations for a minimum set of items that should be addressed in SAPs for clinical trials, developed with input from statisticians, previous guideline authors, journal editors, regulators, and funders.

1st February 2018 • comment

The Africa Research Excellence Fund (AREF) is delighted to announce the launch of the Excell Researcher and Leadership Development Programme funded with a grant from the Robert Bosch Stiftung.

2nd January 2018 • comment

Banks, S. et al (2014). Using co-inquiry to study co-inquiry: community-university perspectives on research collaboration. Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship 7(1).

2nd March 2017 • comment

AREF is calling for researcher applications to participate in its 2nd Essential Grant Writing Skills Workshop, to be held in Dakar, Senegal, in May 2017.

19th December 2016 • comment

This book is a collection of fictionalised case studies of everyday ethical dilemmas and challenges, encountered in the process of conducting global health research in places where the effects of global, political and economic inequality are particularly evident. 

23rd November 2016 • comment

The Good Clinical Practices (GCP) codes of the WHO and the International Conference of Harmonization set international standards for clinical research. But critics argue that they were written without consideration for the challenges faced in low and middle income countries (LMICs).

17th November 2016 • comment
11th November 2016 • comment

Today,The Global Health Network launches Mesh: a new online platform co-created by its users and aiming to improve Community Engagement with health in low and middle income countries.

20th September 2016 • comment

How the war in Syria is decimating human resources for health and health systems.

20th July 2016 • comment

Community Engagement and the Human Infrastructure of Global Health Research

by Katherine F King, Pamela Kolopack, Maria W Merritt, Jim Lavery

This paper proposes an ethical framework for Community Engagement. The framework is grounded in the insight that relationships between the researcher and the community extend beyond the normal bounds of the researcher-research participant encounter and are the foundation of meaningful engagement.

2nd June 2016 • comment

Professor Lang talks about doing difficult trials in difficult places - including malaria and ebola trials.

19th October 2015 • comment

The SWAT and SWAR programme is identifying issues about the methods of trials and systematic reviews about which there is sufficient uncertainty to justify research to support well-informed decision making about future designs and choices.

21st July 2015 • comment

New guidelines help researchers undertaking systematic reviews and IPD meta-analyses to report their findings in a full and transparent manner.

13th July 2015 • comment

Consulting research stakeholders in Kenya on fair practice in research data sharing: Findings and Policy Implications - Dr Vicki Marsh

16th June 2015 • comment

Professor Peter Piot, LSHTM, talks about Ebola and implications for Africa and understanding future epidemics at the Martin School, University of Oxford, 16th October 2014.

17th October 2014 • comment

Ebola PPE guidelines - urgent need to revise WHO and CDC guidelines. This video shows an excerpt from keynote address 'The fuss about face masks', Professor Raina MacIntyre from the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW Australia.

14th October 2014 • comment

On the 8th of July 2014 The Global Health Network launched the Global Health Research Process Map, the first digital toolkit designed to enable researchers anywhere in the world to conduct rigorous global health research.

22nd July 2014 • comment

This good practice document of the ESSENCE on Health Research initiative is designed to provide broad guidance on how best to strengthen research capacity with the maximum possible benefit. 

21st July 2014 • comment

We have recently obtained permission to share some very interesting videos on The Global Health Network. The videos are from Global Health Videos by Greg Martin. You can follow more videos from him at his YouTube channel. This series of videos deal with Glolbal Health and Ethics.

2nd June 2014 • comment

The current difficulties in keeping systematic reviews up to date leads to considerable inaccuracy,  hampering the translation of knowledge into action. Incremental advances in conventional review updating are unlikely to lead to substantial improvements in review currency. A new approach is needed. The authors propose living systematic review as a contribution to evidence synthesis that combines currency with rigour to enhance the accuracy and utility of health evidence.

19th February 2014 • comment

This article, published in AIDS & Clinical Research, reports on a project aiming at building the capacity of regulatory agencies in Nigeria.

22nd January 2014 • comment

Often, morbidity management in NTDs is overlooked, due to its complexity and expensiveness.

15th January 2014 • comment

Managing Incidental Genomic Findings in Clinical Trials: Fulfillment of the principle of justice

by Rafael Dal-Ré, Nicholas Katsanis, Sara Katsanis, Lisa S. Parker, Carmen Ayuso

Genome/exome data are likely to play an increasing role in clinical trials, and incidental findings are likely to be viewed as potential benefits for individuals of research participation.

15th January 2014 • comment

ESSENCE on Health Research have created a good practice document on research costing. It includes a review of the funding practices related to the definition and funding of direct and indirect costs. 

18th December 2013 • comment

This guide, developed by the WHO and released in December 2013, aims to facilitate implementation research in LMICs.

2nd December 2013 • comment

Community engagement is increasingly promoted to strengthen the ethics of medical research in low-income countries. One strategy is to use community advisory boards (CABs): semi-independent groups that can potentially safeguard the rights of study participants and help improve research. However, there is little published on the experience of operating and sustaining CABs.

12th March 2013 • comment

Ethical review and informed consent in cardiovascular research reports in Argentina

by Borrachi, R.A., Calderón, G., Seoane, M. R., Perez, A. C., Doval, H. C.
15th February 2013 • comment

This guidance article aims to provide a fully comprehensive, pragmatic guide for researchers of all roles, but especially ethics reviewers, to explain the details of each type of ethics review. The article is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese, and has been kindly provided by

1st January 2013 • comment

Are students kidding with health research ethics? The case of HIV/AIDS research in Cameroon

by Nchangwi S Munung, Godfrey B Tangwa, Chi P Che, Laurent Vidal, Odile Ouwe-Missi-Oukem-Boyer

Universities in Cameroon are playing an active part in HIV/AIDS research and much of this research is carried out by students, usually for the purpose of a dissertation/thesis. Student theses/dissertations present research findings in a much more comprehensive manner and have been described as the stepping-stone of a budding scientist's potential in becoming an independent researcher. It is therefore important to verify how students handle issues of research ethics.

15th August 2012 • comment
19th July 2012 • comment

Improving Ethical Review of Research Involving Incentives for Health Promotion

by Alex John London, David A. Borasky Jr., Anant Bhan

We argue that some common concerns about using incentives to increase participation in research, such as that attractive incentives will undermine participant autonomy, are misplaced when incentives are used to overcome economic obstacles or a lack of effective motivation, and when recipients are incentivized to engage in health-related behaviors or practices with which they are already familiar and which they regard as beneficial or worthwhile.

2nd April 2012 • comment

This bibliography is a work in progress and is regularly revised. We are currently updating it to link to any listed papers that are available via open access. If there are papers we're missing, or if you have other comments, please let us know by writing to

2nd April 2012 • comment

This is an audio recording of a lecture given by Prof. Charlotte Ikels at Oxford University on 22nd February 2012. Professor Ikels is Professor of Anthropology Emerita at Case Western Reserve University and Lecturer in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

12th March 2012 • comment

One fundamental ethical principle underpinning research ethics is that of respect for persons. It requires that researchers respect research participants’ autonomy, interests, and wishes, and act on the presumption that participants are the best judges of what their interests are (Nuffield Council on Bioethics 2002). This presumption obliges us to design consent processes for research that facilitate prospective participants’ free and informed decisions as to whether or not to participate in a study.

21st February 2012 • comment

Ethical tensions in dealing with noncommunicable diseases globally

by Sridhar Venkatapuram, Martin McKee, David Stuckler

“…..Noncommunicable diseases pose an increasingly high burden of disease that threatens economic and social development, yet cost-effective health interventions exist."

15th February 2012 • comment

The use of race, ethnicity and ancestry in human genetic research

by Sarah E. Ali-Khan, Tomasz Krakowski, Rabia Tahir, Abdallah S. Daar

Abstract Post-Human Genome Project progress has enabled a new wave of population genetic research, and intensified controversy over the use of race/ethnicity in this work. At the same time, the development of methods for inferring genetic ancestry offers more empirical means of assigning group labels. Here, we provide a systematic analysis of the use of race/ethnicity and ancestry in current genetic research. We base our analysis on key published recommendations for the use and reporting of race/ethnicity which advise that researchers: explain why the terms/categories were used and how they were measured, carefully define them, and apply them consistently. We studied 170 population genetic research articles from high impact journals, published 2008–2009. A comparative perspective was obtained by aligning study metrics with similar research from articles published 2001–2004. Our analysis indicates a marked improvement in compliance with some of the recommendations/guidelines for the use of race/ethnicity over time, while showing that important shortfalls still remain: no article using ‘race’, ‘ethnicity’ or ‘ancestry’ defined or discussed the meaning of these concepts in context; a third of articles still do not provide a rationale for their use, with those using ‘ancestry’ being the least likely to do so. Further, no article discussed potential socio-ethical implications of the reported research. As such, there remains a clear imperative for highlighting the importance of consistent and comprehensive reporting on human populations to the genetics/genomics community globally, to generate explicit guidelines for the uses of ancestry and genetic ancestry, and importantly, to ensure that guidelines are followed.

1st August 2011 • comment

This is the Report from the "Consent to and Community Engagement in Health Research" workshop, which took place between 28 Feb - 03 Mar 2011 in Kilifi, Kenya. The workshop built upon an emerging collaboration between the Ethox Centre in Oxford, the Social and Behavioural Research Group at the Wellcome-KEMRI Unit in Kilifi, the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and the Mahidol - Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit in Thailand.

1st August 2011 • comment

A Comparison of Online versus On-site Training in Health Research Methodology: A Randomized Study

by Rakesh Aggarwal, Nikhil Gupte, Nancy Kass, Holly Taylor, Joseph Ali, Anant Bhan, Amita Aggarwal, Stephen D Sisson, Sukon Kanchanaraksa, Jane McKenzie-White, John McGready, Paolo Miotti, Robert C Bollinger

Abstract   Background: Distance learning may be useful for building health research capacity. However, evidence that it can improve knowledge and skills in health research, particularly in resource-poor settings, is limited. We compared the impact and acceptability of teaching two distinct content areas, Biostatistics and Research Ethics, through either on-line distance learning format or traditional on-site training, in a randomized study in India. Our objective was to determine whether on-line courses in Biostatistics and Research Ethics could achieve similar improvements in knowledge, as traditional on-site, classroom-based courses.Methods: Subjects: Volunteer Indian scientists were randomly assigned to one of two arms. Intervention: Students in Arm 1 attended a 3.5-day on-site course in Biostatistics and completed a 3.5-week on-line course in Research Ethics. Students in Arm 2 attended a 3.5-week on-line course in Biostatistics and 3.5-day on-site course in Research Ethics. For the two course formats, learning objectives, course contents and knowledge tests were identical.Main Outcome Measures: Improvement in knowledge immediately and 3-months after course completion,compared to baseline. Results: Baseline characteristics were similar in both arms (n = 29 each). Median knowledge score for Biostatistics increased from a baseline of 49% to 64% (p < 0.001) 3 months after the on-site course, and from 48% to 63%(p = 0.009) after the on-line course. For the on-site Research Ethics course, median score increased from 69% to 83% (p = 0.005), and for the on-line Research Ethics course from 62% to 80% (p < 0.001). Three months after the course, median gains in knowledge scores remained similar for the on-site and on-line platforms for both Biostatistics (16% vs. 12%; p = 0.59) and Research Ethics (17% vs. 13%; p = 0.14).Conclusion: On-line and on-site training formats led to marked and similar improvements of knowledge in Biostatistics and Research Ethics. This, combined with logistical and cost advantages of on-line training, may make on-line courses particularly useful for expanding health research capacity in resource-limited settings.

19th July 2011 • comment

Ethical issues in human genomics research in developing countries

by Jantina de Vries, Susan J Bull, Ogobara Doumbo, Muntaser Ibrahim, Odile Mercereau-Puijalon, Dominic Kwiatkowski, Michael Parker

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) provide a powerful means of identifying genetic variants that play a role in common diseases. Such studies present important ethical challenges. An increasing number of GWAS are taking place in lower income countries and there is a pressing need to identify the particular ethical challenges arising in such contexts. In this paper, we draw upon the experiences of the MalariaGEN Consortium to identify specific ethical issues raised by such research in Africa, Asia and Oceania.

11th July 2011 • comment

Spotlight on Global Health Governance - National and Global Responsibilities for Health

by Lawrence O Gostin, Mark Heywood, Gorik Ooms, Anand Grover, John-Arne Røttingen, Wang Chenguang

This article is available for free from the Bulletin of the World Health Organization.Lawrence O. Gostin et al., National and Global Responsibilities for Health (Editorial), 88 Bulletin of the World Health Organization 719-20 (October, 2010), available at: Preventable and treatable injuries and diseases are overwhelming sub-Saharan Africa, the Indian subcontinent and other impoverished areas of the world. Every year, 8 million children die before they reach the age of 5, more than 300 000 women die in pregnancy or childbirth, and more than 4 million people die of AIDS, malaria, or tuberculosis. By 2005, 80% of deaths from noncommunicable diseases were in developing countries. Healthy life expectancy in Africa is 45 years, a full quarter-century less than in high-income countries.

20th June 2011 • comment

This article is available online, free of charge from: The Lancet, Volume 375, Issue9725, Pages 1504 - 1505, 1 May 2010   See:   Health has special meaning and importance to individuals and communities. WHO's Constitution states that “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health” is a fundamental human right. International law, moreover, requires states to guarantee the right to health. The UN has specified the norms and obligations of the right to health, and appointed a Special Rapporteur.

20th June 2011 • comment

Ethics in global health research

by M. Parker, S. Bull

This articles explores some of the ethical issues arising in the context of collaborative global health research networks involving partners in developing and developed countries.

11th February 2011 • comment