The Stellenbosch University Collaborative Capacity Enhancement through Engagement with Districts (SUCCEED) project, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), under the USA President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in April 2015, facilitated South African university-based technical assistance that aims to improve the quality of HIV/AIDS and related services in the Republic of South Africa.

The project provided technical assistance and capacity development in decentralised learning, operational research, quality improvement and data. As the growth in existing evidence is not translating to change on the ground realities and the challenges remain in the implementation of strategies, we at the CEBHC focused on building capacity for operational research through workshops, mentorship and experiential learning.

Operational research helps to identify solutions to problems that limit program quality, efficiency and effectiveness, or to determine which alternative service delivery strategy would yield the best outcomes. Findings from operational research are used to inform programmatic decisions.

Those involved with the conduct of operational research must be equipped to conduct research well, have the capacity to engage with programme officers to identify the problems to be solved and to disseminate findings with implementation strategies to stakeholders, thus working side by side throughout the research and implementation process.

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SUCCEED is funded by  the Centers  for Disease  Control  and  Prevention  (CDC),  under  the  USA President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).