Participants of the 1st SPARCO & SADaCC Consortium Meeting, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 3-4 December 2017
The NIH, like most funders, requires potential grantees to submit comprehensive proposals with detailed work-plans. However, such proposals are prone to biases and weaknesses which although unintended, may decrease the suitability of the implementation plans to the project sites or needs. Implementation plans are traditionally drafted by a few select lead authors mainly to meet grant funding deadlines, which leaves limited time to gather input from other key stakeholders or set realistic milestones. In addition, such implementation plans may contain outdated milestones since there is usually a lag between submission of grant applications and project initiation.
Day 1: 3rd November. An overview of the SADaCC and SPARCO projects were presented. Stakeholders with initiatives which the projects could learn from also presented their work, this included RED II (Anna Barbara, Brazil), H3ABioNet (Nicola Mulder, South Africa), Cancer Research Institute in Genoa (Luccio Luzzatto, Tanzania) and the University of Cape Town, Clinical Research Center (Delva Shamley and Annemie Stewart, South Africa). The working sub-groups discussed their deliverables and presented these to the group.
Day 2: The 3rd of November saw key research and activities relevant to SPARCO and SADaCC presented and discussed. These included a review of Sickle Cell Disease Registries (Vicky Nembaware), Data management and SPARCO Data Elements (Raphael Sangeda). Data Sharing & Consent (Syntia Nchangwi), Standards of Care (Kwaku Ohene-Frempong), Planning Research (Andre Pascal), Training and Symposiums (Obiageli Nnodu). Various discussions around sustainability, branding and governance issues were also initiated. Solomon Ofori-Acquah also gave an inaugural presentation on SickleGenAfrica.
Feedback: Thanks to the planning team which was made up of members from SADaCC and the SPARCO hub. Gabby Emjedi went an extra mile by staying awake on the last day to say farewell to all the guests. It was also great having local administrative and IT support from Frank Makundi. A big thank you to Mario Jonas for managing the presentations. Based on the evaluation form circulated after the meeting, participants were satisfied with the logistics and planning of the meeting. Most requested that the meeting be at least 3 or 4 days instead of the 2 days. Other suggestions included asking the presenters to send outlines of their talks before the meeting to the organisers to make ensure that the meeting objectives were met. Most participants enjoyed the social event which was held at the end of the meeting.