Capacity development for health research in Pakistan: The effects of doctoral training

Adnan A. Hyder, Tasleem Akhter, Abdul Qayyum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Capacity development for health research has been promoted in developing countries for many years, especially by international aid agencies. In Pakistan the government has been investing substantial funds in the development of a critical mass of scientists in the country. This paper represents the first attempt in Pakistan to assess the impact of capacity development efforts in health research. The study surveyed 54 Pakistani researchers who were sent for doctoral training to institutions out of the country on funded programmes in the past three decades. The 50 male and four female respondents had an average of 5.7 years of job experience prior to being sent for training and the average duration of training per person was 4 years. The average reported expenditure directly given to the trainees was US$35 300 (1995 US$) per person. These researchers had an average of 15 publications per person, while they have trained an average of nine students per researcher since return to Pakistan. The respondents indicated a lack of academic liberty and incentives to sustain their research efforts, and recommended autonomy in work and provision of facilities to stimulate their contributions. This study reflects the complex issues facing highly trained researchers who have returned to Pakistan and are attempting to pursue their careers. Their contributions in terms of writing papers, teaching students and policy involvement are important for assessing capacity development efforts. Comparative data from other developing nations is severely lacking for cross-country analysis. Such evaluations are critical to develop plans for the reduction of the 10/90 gap in health research investments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)338-343
Number of pages6
JournalHealth Policy and Planning
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2003


  • Capacity development
  • Health investments
  • Health research
  • Pakistan
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Health Policy
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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