Key Results & Achievements


“REDe” is the research capacity development network WP11 is leading, spanning all three EU-funded consortia, to build research awareness, skills and engagement across regions that were impacted by Zika. REDe is positioned within The Global Health Network, which further amplifies its uptake and increases engagement within the region and beyond.

Through keen adoption and contribution from researchers in the regions, the REDe hub features a growing library of research resources, articles, toolkits, funding guidance, as well as access to research skills eLearning and a catalogue of courses on arboviruses. In addition, there is a map of study sites spanning the three consortia features, as well as a ‘meta-network’ map which positions the Zika study teams amongst other internationally operating consortia-led programmes collaborating with The Global Health Network. Dedicated spaces reflect the growing efforts and achievements of Regional Leadership across REDe from Brazil, Honduras and Peru. As of 1st August 2020, REDe has over 4,500 registered members, receiving more than 54,000 visits from over 12,000 users.

Three further member hubs were launched across The Global Health Network platform, in association with ZikaPLAN partners; Global Birth Defects (Ulster University) with 1,719 registered members and 15,341 page views (end of July 2020) and Brain Infections Global (the University of Liverpool) with 2,435 members and over 37,000 page views. The Global Vector Hub, in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, has also newly launched accruing 1,472 page views in the first month. Key new resources have been developed and hosted through REDe, including a flowchart detailing the 10 case management steps for Guillain-Barré syndrome, in partnership with Erasmus MC, amassing 62 downloads and 665 page views.

Creating core preparedness structures

The impact of integrating on-the-ground activities with an online digital component is significant, and embedded in the proposed approach to capacity building led by WP11. However, from the outset, establishing regional coordination in association with the named institutions from within the ZIKA consortia grant applications, met with varying degrees of success.

In an effort to improve engagement and progress with regional initiatives, The Global Health Network re-assessed and reverted to a proven model, identifying key contacts from wider partnerships and organizations across Latin America. This method was successful and effectively expanded the regional leadership across REDe. In addition to the high-functioning faculties based in Honduras and Peru, two regional coordinators based in Brazil were recruited and developed relationships with key Brazilian institutions.

A measure of the impact gained from this model of regional leadership and capacity building efforts is demonstrated and supported by user engagement, with more than 3,000 page views for the Honduras Faculty. Over 56% of the total REDe page views originated from researchers across Honduras, which shows how strongly effective and supportive the parallel approach of first-hand, practical learning with a complementary digital framework can be. As an indication of the outreach and promotion of the REDe Network undertaken by this faculty, 4,041 final year medical students and healthcare professionals have attended a skills-sharing workshop, regional or international meeting to engage with this platform and the resources available (February 2017 – September 2019).

Capacity Building

Research Skills Training Curriculum

In an effort to advance and expand research skills-based learning, key milestones were met for undertaking an important piece of methodology research to inform the development of a core Research Skills Training Curriculum. This aims to agree an essential set of courses that would constitute the minimum set of skills, knowledge and key principles that would enable those with limited or no previous experience to undertake high-quality health research. We designed a four-stage approach to establishing this evidence-led curriculum, including formal gap analyses (with a respectable sample size n =7,167), a 2-round e-Delphi and a concluding workshop to ratify the curriculum.

This initiative gained attention from other international partners and networks, and official endorsement from the WHO-TDR programme, and is projected to complete in Autumn 2020. The initial analysis and results from this study further highlighted the importance of the role regional faculties play in promoting capacity development through training, and this has been actively pursued in the development of workshops across the Regional centres.

Shared online / distance learning modules

Access to e-Learning through The Global Health Network Training Centre continues to meet with strong demand, with over 1.2 million modules taken by more than 330,000 eLearners, with 10% accessing from Latin America and the Caribbean.

A suite of new courses, developed in association with the University of Liverpool, focusing on identifying and diagnosing a range of neurological infectious diseases was made available. Since launching in 2018, 4,241 users have accessed the NeuroID courses more than 10,300 times (June 2020).

To broaden the range and remit of training courses available, a comprehensive review of all training materials related to the prevention, detection and treatment of ZIKV and other arboviruses was conducted, and a searchable catalogue of 74 courses made available to researchers through REDe. Periodic scoping and review has been regularly undertaken to provide quality assured courses related specifically to arboviruses.

Fundamental to supporting research communities across Latin America and the Caribbean, and more globally, resources and eLearning hosted in association with REDe are made available in multiple language versions.

Regional workshops

Establishing dedicated regional coordinators was instrumental to increasing engagement and uptake of REDe with research communities across Brazil and led to the successful formulation of a series of targeted specialist skills workshops focusing on arboviruses, delivered across 2019. Importantly, as a result of this workshop initiative, the REDe team and the workshop leads from this series partnered to develop a joint grant proposal for addressing and advancing research in their respective specialties through an integrated model. If awarded, funding will support a research project drawing on the expertise and research priorities for the Brazilian institutions involved in the workshop initiative, encompassing diverse areas within the field of arbovirology.

A further series of workshops with wider collaborating partners across Brazil have been successfully awarded and currently in planning.

REDe has a strong record of accomplishment for workshops across Honduras and Peru, with a particular and consistent focus on the ethics of research. Drawing on the strength of skills-based workshops and complementary eLearning, the Honduras faculty are undertaking a 12-month methodology and impact assessment project to further develop insight and understanding of process improvement throughout the research cycle: Enabling ethical and quality research in Honduras and Central America and the Caribbean

Annually, the Peruvian faculty host an International Workshop, which most recently saw 102 participants attend the Biobanks for Research Purposes: Opportunities and Challenges session held in Lima from 5-6th September 2019. This workshop was jointly organized by the Latin American Forum for Research Ethics Committees (FLACEIS), the Peruvian IRB Network (REDCEI), and Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, in collaboration with The Global Health Network, EDUPYME and EMERGE.

Set up a collaboration mechanism with other international networks

REDe’s commitment to capacity building in the Latin American and Caribbean region, met with a significant milestone to securing a sustainable future through a formal partnership with Insituto Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz). This was made official with a Memorandum of Understanding signed in July 2019.

TheFiocruz hub launched on The Global Health Network, with a dedicated hub coordinator based at Fiocruz, and has attracted over 11,900 page views to date, integrating initiatives and widening outreach in collaboration with REDe.


In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, regional coordinators across REDe and Fiocruz have closely collaborated, contributing to local initiatives in support of research efforts as part of the Covid-19 response. This includes jointly hosting a lusophone open workshop to identify a research priority agenda, and subsequently establishing a lusophone Working Group forum for actively addressing the research priorities pertinent to these settings.

The first in a series of webinars was also hosted on 19th August in partnership between ZikaPLAN and REDe, to explore the role of international research networks and the lessons that can be effectively carried forward from a Zika Network to the Covid-19 response and beyond.

Useful links

Latin-American Preparedness Network (PLAN)

Latin American Preparedness Network (PLAN)

Participating Organisations

Group leader: Prof. Trudie Lang, University of Oxford

    • Umeå University
    • London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
    • Ulster University
    • Fondation Mérieux
    • Fundação de Apoio à Universidade de São Paulo
    • Associação Técnica–Científica de Estudo Colaborativo Latino Americano de Malformações Congênitas (ECLAMC)
    • Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz)
    • Universidade de Pernambuco