Strengthening local capacity is one of the triple mandates of the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA)’s IHR Strengthening Project. As part of achieving this mandate and based off feedback from project staff on their capacity building needs, a series was designed and delivered within the project called “The Writeshop”. The Writeshop was a series of academic writing workshops aimed at supporting project staff with their writing and facilitating the development of academic publications. The series ran from September 2021 through December 2021, was delivered to project staff attending virtually from across Africa and Asia. It was facilitated by Programme Manager and part of the IHR Senior Leadership Team Samuel Collins, and Senior Health Advisor for Myanmar Thidar Pyone with 12 of the IHR project’s local staff from Zambia, Africa CDC, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Myanmar participating.
The course consisted of 5 2-hour workshops plus 4 hours using the UKHSA library services over 13 weeks. The series covered topics such as the principles in writing publications and how to write sections of academic papers such as titles, introductions, methods, discussions, and abstracts. After the first session, the UKHSA library services also provided literature searching and critical appraisal sessions.
The workshops were designed to be hands on and interactive and the participants engaged excellently, completing the preparatory, sharing opinions and observations, providing feedback and having knowledgeable and fruitful discussions with both the other project staff and facilitators.
On December 17, the final sessions of The Writeshop was successfully completed. The series received positive feedbacks from the participants, and we look forward to reading the academic work that comes as a result of these sessions in the new year!