Case study: Researching public health research data management in emerging markets

The brief: The Public Health Research Data Forum are a group of major international funders of public health research. They have committed to work together to increase the availability of data emerging from their funded research, in order to accelerate advances in public health.

They recognise that, in order to promote open access of research data it is necessary to assess the existing capacity to do so and then plan mechanisms to support training and development.

Our solution: The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, on behalf of the Public Health Research Data Forum, commissioned Whythawk, the Open Knowledge Foundation, and Frost & Sullivan to assess labour market dynamics for people who possess relevant expertise, and identify current challenges and support gaps in research data management. The project also seeks to compile an inventory of existing training and capacity building activities relevant to management and sharing of public health research data. The project is a senior consulting and market research role.

Whythawk project managed, developed the research methodology and criteria (including selection of the countries for research), aggregated the research developed by Frost & Sullivan and prepared the final report and recommendations for the client. The final report is available as a Creative Commons licensed publically-accessible report.

The result: The findings of this study have led to a number of recommendations offered for future development and implementation. The ultimate objectives and aspirations for ensuring the availability of public health research data to the scientific community will be achieved through collaboration involving funders, research institutions, publishers, and a diversity of service providers.

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