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Tailor-made training for qualitative research in Burundi


Together with Dr. Georges Nsengiyumva from the Ministry of Health, Prof. Tjard de Cock Buning of the Athena Institute of the VU Amsterdam and Prof. Thérèse Mambu, a senior researcher in Congo, Kit Health implemented a tailor-made training programme consisting of two workshops and online supervision.

Researchers and teachers from the International Institute for Public Health (INSP), the Medical Faculty and the Ministry of Health were trained in competencies (knowledge, attitudes and skills) to apply qualitative research methods, specifically in relation to mixed-method research and participatory research.

The long-term objective was to enable qualified health professionals to develop, implement and evaluate evidence-informed SRHR interventions. This will strengthen the health system and improve sexual and reproductive health outcomes in Burundi.

Focus groups and workshops with local communities

The first workshop was held from 22 September to 4 October 2014 in Banga Burundi. There were 30 participants and 5 research proposals were developed to look into the sociocultural determinant and uptake of family planning, access to family planning, the perception of couples and modern contraception, fistula, out-of-school youth and child marriage. The co-trainers were Benoit Ruratotoye de Promundo and Athanase Nzokirishaka, a former director of UNFPA in many countries.

Focus group discussions were held with the local community as an exercise. Participants learned how to pitch their work to policy makers. After the workshop, online supervision was provided by KIT. Subsequently, ethical clearance was obtained in Burundi and fieldwork was carried out in December 2014 and January 2015.

The second workshop took place from 11-18 February 2015 in Bujumbura and was mainly focused on qualitative analysis, how to write reports and articles and the translation of findings into key messages to inform policy. At the end of the workshop the participants pitched their results in the presence of Maaike van Vliet of the Royal Netherlands Embassy and the director of INSP. The reports are currently being completed and will be distributed when finalised.