SETTINGS: Partners In Health Rwanda, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, leads a multipronged approach to develop research capacity among health workers, particularly in rural areas.
OBJECTIVES: To describe the characteristics of participants and to assess the impact of an introductory research seminar series in three district hospitals in rural Rwanda.
DESIGN: This was a retrospective cohort study of seminar participants. Data were sourced from personnel records, assessment sheets and feedback forms.
RESULTS: A total of 126 participants, including 70 (56%) clinical and 56 (44%) non-clinical staff, attended the research seminar series; 61 (48%) received certification. Among those certified, the median assessment score on assignments was 79%. Participants read significantly more articles at 6 and 12 months (median 2 and 4 respectively, compared to 1 at baseline, P < 0.01). There was also a significant increase (P ⩽ 0.05) in self-reported involvement in research studies (28%, baseline; 59%, 12 months) and attendance at other research training (36%, baseline; 65%, 12 months).
CONCLUSION: The introductory research seminar series provided an important opportunity for engagement in research among clinical and non-clinical staff. Such an activity is a key component of a comprehensive research capacity building programme at rural sites, and serves as an entry point for more advanced research training.