Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

A boost for health research in Asia

Addressing social determinants of health and tackling health inequity are research-intensive endeavours. Low and middle-income countries (LMICs), in particular, need to develop their own sustainable training capacity to strengthen research on the social determinants of health (RSDH).
A boost for health research in Asia
The EU-funded ARCADE RSDH (Asian regional capacity development for research on social determinants of health) project worked towards the achievement of this goal in Asia, with long-term impacts. It mainly sought to increase RSDH and support national policymakers in evidence-based decision-making.

More specifically, the project intended to develop the sustainable training capacity in Asian LMICs, with the goal to expand and fortify research on health and its social determinants and develop locally designed strategies to reduce health inequity.

Different tools were used to achieve this, such as innovative, blended and self-learning courses, addressed to postgraduate students, and capacity-building activities targeting participating institutions. Altogether, 38 modules were developed, 11 of which are available online for free.

A network of 13 institutions in Asia, Europe and South Africa combined their skills, resources and students to create a new LMICs-based RSDH capacity development network. Three joint research programmes were also established and the team is drafting a postdoctoral researcher policy.

Study findings revealed that more courses on RSDH are definitely needed in Asia with emphasis on strengthening the basic research skills of PhD students. Also, grant management at partner universities should be attended to.

A total of 14 publications in the form of academic book chapters and articles resulted from this project, in addition to a newspaper article published in India. Project representatives also gave an interview on the project to a freelance journalist.

Potential impacts are expected at regional, institutional and individual levels of RSDH capacity development, even after the project's lifetime. ARCADE RSDH will contribute to the ability of Asian institutions to produce graduates assisting local policymakers to identify and understand issues in health inequities and reduce them through actions on social determinants.

With its innovative, blended learning methods, ARCADE RSDH will boost Asian capacities and infrastructures for research, grant applications and improved training courses. Programme graduates will then have the skills to develop and adapt health systems and innovations, with a focus on social determinants.

Related information


Life Sciences


Health research, Asia, health inequity, social determinants of health, ARCADE RSDH
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