RITM and Germany’s Project BUKLOD trains researchers on mixed-methods approach
Participants of the Project BUKLOD Mixed Methods Workshop.

The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine through its Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (DEBS), in collaboration with the Heidelberg Institute for Global Health (HIGH) and the University of Heidelberg in Germany, conducted the Introduction to Mixed Methods in Global Health Research Workshop for local clinicians and early career health researchers on June 19-23, 2023 at Tagaytay City, Cavite.

The five-day training is the second learning exchange activity of the Project BUKLOD training series which oriented 20 health professionals from RITM, and St. Luke’s Medical Center. They were oriented on the process of developing mixed methods research questions, opportunities and strengths of mixed methods research, various types of mixed methods research designs, determining appropriateness of qualitative and quantitative research methods for different research questions, and critiquing published mixed methods research studies. ­­Ten (10) of the participants also joined Project BUKLOD’s first training on artificial intelligence and machine learning last February 20-21, 2023.

Prior to joining the training, participants were required to have at least one research idea describing their current research interest or any research idea that can be pursued through a mixed-methods approach.

Featured in the training were HIGH global health scientist and Project BUKLOD co-Lead Dr. Shannon A. McMahon, social scientist Dr. Kate Bärnighausen, medical anthropologist Jonas Wachinger, and the Institute’s very own DEBS Head Dr. Marianette Inobaya, public health researcher Ms. Chona Mae Daga, and Project BUKLOD Lead Dr. Mark Donald Reñosa.

A group of participants discussing their research ideas during one of the break-out sessions on June 19, 2023.

Upon conclusion of the training, the group recognized three (3) best mixed-methods research proposals which were incepted by the following participants:

  • First place: “Implementation of policies and programs for mental health promotion and care for the elderly in selected highly urbanized cities in the National Capital Region” by Bianca Joyce Sornillo of DEBS (RITM)
  • Second place: “Development and testing of a culturally-tailored human-centered design intervention to increase vaccine intentions among Dumagat-Remontados – an indigenous population in the Philippines” by Catherine Silvestre of DEBS (RITM)
  • Third place: “The Burden of Anti-Venom Shortage: A Deep-Dive into the Philippine Snake Anti-venom Crisis” by Lara Elize Itao of the Storage and Distribution Department (RITM)

The goal of BUKLOD is to foster innovation and creativity among early-career researchers, and by embracing mixed-methods approach, they were able to refine their research ideas that cut across disciplinary boundaries, opening the door to novel perspectives on pressing health issues. Our hope is that these insights gained will be applied to their current and subsequent projects,” said Project BUKLOD Lead Dr. Mark Donald Reñosa.

The Mixed Methods Workshop precedes the third and final learning engagement for Project BUKLOD, the Academic Writing for Qualitative, Quantitative Mixed-Methods Research training on June 26-30.

Project BUKLOD (Bridging the gap, Upgrading the technical Know-hows and Leveraging research Outputs and its Dissemination within the Philippines and Germany) aims to forge a partnership between RITM and HIGH through strengthening of research capabilities of early career scientists in both institutions. In the long run, Project BUKLOD expects to translate research findings to inform policies and ultimately utilize innovations to combat emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.

by Anel Azel Dimaano