Research Capacity and Needs for Alcohol-Related Harm Prevention in West Africa: Findings From a Cross-Sectional Survey of Stakeholders


Health Promotion and Physical Education

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OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine capacity and resource needs for alcohol prevention research among stakeholders across nine countries in West Africa. METHOD: We analyzed a cross-sectional survey conducted in the fall of 2020, distributed by the West African Alcohol Policy Alliance to their member alliances and stakeholders across nine countries in West Africa. Fifteen survey questions assessed research capacity and priorities related to alcohol prevention and harm locally and in the region. Overall, 140 persons participated in the survey, predominantly representing community-based organizations (CBOs) and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). RESULTS: Only 42% of the respondents reported that their organizations have conducted research with a university or a research institution (with percentages ranging from 13% in Burkina Faso to 68% in Nigeria). The survey respondents indicated greater capacity for "upstream" research tasks (e.g., monitoring and evaluation, online survey tools, and data collection) compared with "downstream" research tasks (e.g., data analyses, translating research for community use, and preparing policy briefs and briefing decision makers). Less than half (48%) of the respondents were familiar with the World Health Organization (WHO) SAFER initiative. CONCLUSIONS: Given the low proportion of stakeholders in alcohol-related work who have worked with universities and research institutions, a clear priority is to facilitate and strengthen future collaborations. In addition, improving capacity for downstream research tasks is needed to inform policy. Finally, increasing familiarity with SAFER among key stakeholders involved in alcohol harm prevention in the region is a tangible short-term priority.

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Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs

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