HtrainDB: Policy Document
The Human Heredity and Health consortium (H3Africa), aims to strengthen research and training capacity in Africa particularly among young African scientists. To date there are over 20 H3Africa research projects/networks spread across Africa. Over the next couple of years, various training efforts and activities will be supported by the different projects. Given the large and diverse number of projects and potential trainees and trainers in this consortium, it is imperative that data pertaining to training efforts are captured and stored in a systematic manner. To this end the H3Africa consortium has developed indicators to monitor training efforts through an outcomes-based framework. Data will be routinely collected 1-2 months before H3Africa bi-annual consortium meetings.
We are developing HtrainDB, a database which will be used to catalogue data and information from monitoring H3Africa training activities, trainees and trainers. See Box 1 for a summary of the data to be collected.
Box 1: Information to be captured into the database
- Demographic details of trainees (name, surname, age, gender)
- 6 monthly surveys to assess trainee needs and impact
- Announcements of upcoming course to H3Africa training coordinator to help advertise and centralize the application forms and evaluation forms
- Centralized applications for all H3Africa funded course/workshops
- Cataloguing of results from evaluations of workshops/courses and other training activities
- 6 monthly surveys to assess research outputs trainee, project and working groups
This database will be used to:
- generate reports for funders
- facilitate research on H3Africa capacity building efforts. Such research might lead to publications in peer-reviewed journals. Possible research questions include; “Challenges and Needs of H3Africa trainees”; “HtrainDB: A database for Monitoring and Evaluating H3Africa Trainees and Training Activities”.
- provide a web-portal for aggregated and de-identified results which will be publicly accessible
Sample queries which will be performed from HtrainDB are listed in Table 1.
Table 1: Examples of potential queries from the database
Able to querying data based on
• List all H3Africa members from a specific research project.
• How many members are trainers/trainees?
• How many publications have been produced by members of project XX from 01-January-2013 to 01-July-2014? How many of these publications were supported by H3Africa?
• What do members need in terms of training?
• What challenges are members facing?
H3Africa Project • How many members from this project have not attended any training activities?
H3Africa Working Groups • Which working group/s does a member belong to?
• How many publications/outputs has a working group produced?
H3Africa Workshops/Course • Who attended the workshop XX?
• How many participants who are not part of the H3Africa consortium attended workshop XX?
• List all upcoming workshops
This policy addresses ownership, data collection, data storage, maintenance, management, use, dissemination and disposal of the HtrainDB, and is designed to complement existing H3Africa policies (www.H3Africa.org).
- Data Ownership and Management:
The H3Africa consortium is the owner of HtrainDB. The Education and Coordinated Working Groups (ECTWG) co-Chairs will manage access to the database.
- Data Collection:
- Data will be collected via routine and generic surveys used to monitor and evaluate individual H3Africa workshops/courses. Most of these surveys will be conducted via google forms. Some questions could potentially be prejudicial however responses to such questions will be de-identified and will not be made publicly available.
- Surveys conducted every 6 months for each H3Africa trainee.
- Workshop/course information from study coordinators
- Centralized application forms for all H3Africa related courses/workshops and consortiums
- NetCapDB – a database designed to monitor capacity building for the H3ABioNet consortium after getting consent from the database users the first time data is imported from NetCapDB.
Consent will be obtained from H3Africa Principal Investigators and Trainees for storage of information in the database and for dissemination of results generated from the database. Members will be required to click "I agree" to the following statement:
By clicking "I agree" below, I am giving consent for the information I have given in this survey to be stored in a secured database by H3Africa, and for the data to be used for reporting and research purposes. Only entering my information into the database will not guarantee me authorship in any resulting publication. Data which will be made publicly available will be de-identified. All data that can be used to identify me as an individual will remain confidential and will not be made publicly available without my consent.
Limited access will be given to H3Africa trainees and study coordinators and for data input. Access to the entire database will be restricted to the H3Africa Coordinating Centre personnel, the developers and the funders. Special access to the database can be requested through the H3Africa Education and Training Working group (ECTWG), contact details can be obtained through the H3Africa Coordinating Centre.
Aggregated data in the form of infographics will be made publicly available. If and when feasible, research studies on de-identified data will be conducted for publication in scientific journals. Authorship for such studies will be determined by contributions to data analysis and manuscript writing.
- Disposal of the database:
The database could be archived if and when H3Africa is dissolved and stored. Terms and conditions apply for the archiving of the data. If the database is archived, external researchers would still be able to gain access to the database through custodians of the database who will be assigned by H3Africa.