Capacity Building at Research Centers
Capacity building is an integral part of IPM’s approach to clinical research, because most of IPM’s clinical trials are conducted in partnership with local research centers (non-profit, independent entities) in Africa.
IPM works to increase research capacity by supporting the development of new clinical research centers or by expanding infrastructure and strengthening staff skills at existing centers.
IPM also supports community preparedness for microbicide trials. IPM begins capacity building activities before the start of clinical trials and continues those efforts during all phases of the research process.
Research center development and capacity building in Africa
IPM uses a systematic research center development process that includes:
- Identifying local research center partners
- Encouraging research centers to establish links with medical and social referral centers in the communities where the clinical trials are taking place
- Supporting engagement by local communities in the research through community liaison staff at the research centers and Community Advisory Boards (CABs)/Groups (CAGs)
IPM has supported and continues to foster ongoing relationships with research center partners in multiple countries across Southern and Eastern Africa, where HIV prevention research is most needed.
IPM also has study-specific research center partners in Europe and the United States.
As our product portfolio progresses through the various stages of clinical development and testing, IPM provides ongoing and long-term support to our clinical research partners in Africa to strengthen local research capacity and to:
- Provide equipment and research center infrastructure needed for IPM studies
- Standardize operational processes
- Conduct trainings with on-site staff on Good Clinical Practice (GCP) standards so that research meets all ethical and regulatory requirements
- Conduct research center preparedness and training activities and maintaining support for research centers throughout the course of the study
- Prepare communities for research by providing culturally relevant educational materials and actively involving local stakeholders in IPM’s research activities.