Low birth weight in Papua New Guinea is a killer. Help us research what is causing low birth weight in PNG so that we can stop it.
This article describes the design, outcomes, challenges, and lessons learned from the ASian Collaboration for Excellence in Non-Communicable Disease (ASCEND) program, implemented between 2011 and 2015 in India, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia. The program involved a blended-delivery model, incorporating online and face-to-face training, mentoring, and supervision of trainees' research projects. Evaluation data were collected at baseline, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. Intended outcomes, lessons, and challenges were summarized using a logic model. During the program period, 48 participants were trained over 2 cohorts in June 2011 and 2012. The trainees published 83 peer-reviewed articles between 2011 and 2015. Additionally, 154 presentations were given by trainees at national and international conferences. Underutilization of the online learning management system was an important challenge. Utilizing a combination of intensive face-to-face and online learning and mentoring of early career researchers in low- and middle-income countries has great potential to enhance the research capacity, performance, and outputs.