Global Capacity Building/December 2013
Westat provides project monitoring, evaluation, training, and other capacity-building activities across the globe to help regions work toward meeting their internal development goals.
Empowering Communities to Fight TB in Indonesia
CEPAT, which stands for Community Empowerment of People Against Tuberculosis (TB), aims to train community volunteers for advocacy and social mobilization and to mobilize and empower the community to prevent, detect, and treat TB, MDR-TB, and TB-HIV in three provinces of Indonesia.
This project is a collaboration of Jaringan Kesejahteraan/Kesehatan Masyarakat (JKM), an Indonesian NGO headquartered in Medan, with three other Indonesian organizations (the University of Indonesia, the University of Sumatera Utara, and the University of Andalas), Westat, and TB experts from two Thai universities, Prince of Songkla and Mahidol. The project funded by USAID, and JKM is the leading organization.
Activities are focused on identifying possible TB cases in the vulnerable, hard-to-reach populations in the provinces of DKI Jakarta, North Sumatra, and West Sumatra. The CEPAT program will help to empower community ownership of TB programs and to play a key role in TB management, reduce strain on the health system, and reach those who are not being treated. Westat provides capacity building to local partners on project management, data collection, report and monitoring, and evaluation.
Understanding the Causes of Burkitt Lymphoma in African Children
Burkitt lymphoma, a non-Hodgkin's form of lymphoma, is an aggressive cancer that begins in the body’s immune cells. Outside of Africa, it is rare, but within Africa, it is common in young children who also have been infected by malaria and/or the Epstein-Barr virus. To help learn why, Westat has been providing research support to the Epidemiology of Burkitt Lymphoma in East African Children and Minors (EMBLEM) study.
EMBLEM is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute in collaboration with researchers in Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya. Westat support of the research includes procuring and delivering equipment (ultra-low temperature freezers, refrigerated centrifuges, portable hematology analyzers, biohazard hoods, and both light and fluorescence microscopes), as well as teaching local staff how to operate and maintain them. Westat has also supported fresh frozen processing of biopsied tissue for later evaluation in the United States. These techniques improve the quality of Burkitt Lymphoma diagnosis in Africa, and, by virtue of technology transfer, other cancers.
In September 2012, Westat supported and participated in a workshop in Mwanza, Tanzania, providing a review of project management and cancer research methods at the initial gathering of the regional research staff and stakeholders. Another workshop is planned for September 2014.
Westat continues to support these and other efforts to lay the foundation for sustainable cancer research in East Africa.
Deploying Critical Resources for Global Clinical Research
Westat is assisting the Division of Clinical Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in rapidly deploying administrative and technical resources to facilitate time-sensitive, global, and high-priority clinical research. This effort also fosters establishing collaborations with international government agencies, academia, and health research entities in developing countries.
For the Mexico Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Network, Westat is providing administrative, management, and technical support to network investigators for developing and implementing an influenza/influenza-like respiratory syndrome natural history study. We are also assessing and continuously identifying opportunities to improve the existing research infrastructure of network sites in Mexico. Westat is also exploring ways to enhance training and capacity building. For example, we have provided training in research quality assurance/quality control, monitoring, data management and data entry, operationalization of research protocols, and epidemiologic methods in research.