The Global Health Research Process Map is a digital toolkit in *beta* mode designed to enable researchers anywhere in the world to initiate rigorous global health research studies. The aim is to provide step-by-step guidance for each stage that needs to be considered when planning a new study. By providing an overview of what needs to be done, and then providing tools, resources, guidance and support for each task, this resource should speed up the study set up process and help you run a robust and high-quality study.
The Process Map and all the content that it directs you to has been gathered and collated in collaboration with researchers from both high and low-resource settings. All of the guidance provided within the process map is pragmatic and can be applied or adapted to all types of studies, in all disease areas. It provides information relevant to all global health research, including clinical trials, consequently, depending on the proposed research project some aspects of the map can be ignored.
Why was the Process Map Developed?
The premise of The Global Health Network is that the steps and processes required in setting up a global health research study are fairly similar, irrespective of the disease area and whether or not it is a clinical trial. These steps and processes are guided or bounded by good clinical practice (GCP) guidelines whose current iteration is the ICH-GCP. The ICH-GCP Guidelines provide a unified GCP standard for designing, conducting, recording and reporting clinical research studies. ICH-GCP has also become internationally recognised as ‘the’ GCP standard and many types of clinical research studies are obliged to comply with them. Any risks to the safety and rights of the study participants or the validity of the data need to be considered and ICH-GCP rules used to help reduce any risks. This has the advantage of focusing researchers on potential problem areas, resulting in higher quality data, and allowing other low risk areas of the study to be simplified. Therefore, the steps of the process map are currently determined by the standard process that all research is governed by, in particular applying the requirements of ICH-GCP. The steps here are intended to work for all types of global health research studies and be highly pragmatic.
The first iteration of the process map was developed in 2014. This map is not set and this is the third version that is being released, and it is certainly by no means perfected, nor is it intended to be. The map needs continued use and suggestions from you, The Global Health Network community to refine and develop it to be even more useful. The Global Health Network is over ten years old now and therefore there is a comprehensive wealth of templates, tools, guidance articles and training courses. The process map sorts this content by each step or stage of the study set up process and therefore enables you to quickly access what you need.
How should I use the Process Map?
The Global Health Research Process Map is a fully interactive tool that provides pragmatic, globally applicable advice. The map has two aims, first, to guide study set up by signposting the major steps and secondly, as a mechanism to facilitate resource gathering, tools and training which are located within the various areas of The Global Health Network.
To use it, simply click on each step to view expert guidance on how to complete that task or stage in the Process Map. You can also click on ‘resources’ to view eLearning courses and guidance articles relevant to that process. You can also download the map, or print out the information relating to a step so that you can read it offline.