Claim Your Space: Leadership Development as a Research Capacity Building Goal in Global Health

Health Educ Behav. 2016 Apr;43(1 Suppl):17S-24S. doi: 10.1177/1090198116633455.


As the burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) rises in settings with an equally high burden of infectious diseases in the Global South, a new sense of urgency has developed around research capacity building to promote more effective and sustainable public health and health care systems. In 2010, NCDs accounted for more than 2.06 million deaths in sub-Saharan Africa. Available evidence suggests that the number of people in sub-Saharan Africa with hypertension, a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, will increase by 68% from 75 million in 2008 to 126 million in 2025. Furthermore, about 27.5 million people currently live with diabetes in Africa, and it is estimated that 49.7 million people living with diabetes will reside in Africa by 2030. It is therefore necessary to centralize leadership as a key aspect of research capacity building and strengthening in the Global South in ways that enables researchers to claim their spaces in their own locations. We believe that building capacity for transformative leadership in research will lead to the development of effective and appropriate responses to the multiple burdens of NCDs that coexist with infectious diseases in Africa and the rest of the Global South.

Keywords: Africa; Global South; NCDs; capacity building; leadership.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Africa South of the Sahara
  • Capacity Building / organization & administration*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Chronic Disease
  • Decision Making, Organizational
  • Developing Countries
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Global Health*
  • Humans
  • Leadership*
  • Research
  • Research Support as Topic / organization & administration*
  • Risk Factors