The Grants & sponsored Research Initiative (GRIT)
The Research Program on Children and Adversity is proud to host the Grants & sponsored Research IniTiative (GRIT). GRIT is a monthly webinar that aims 1) to create a space for new investigators to receive constructive feedback from peers on grant proposals for NIH and other funders, and 2) provide an opportunity for senior investigators to share their research expertise with others in the spirit of capacity building. All aspiring and experienced researchers are welcome to participate. To register please use the links found below.
Past Presentations can be found on our YouTube Channel.
"High Quality Health Systems: Evidence Gaps and Implications for Research"
Monday, September 14, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. EST
Dr. Margaret E. Kruk is Professor of Health Systems at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Kruk’s research generates evidence on how health systems can improve health for people living in low-income countries. Working with colleagues in Ethiopia, Kenya, Nepal, South Africa, and India, among other countries, she develops novel measures of health system quality and studies the links between quality and population demand for health care, health outcomes, and confidence in the system. Dr. Kruk uses novel implementation science methods to evaluate large-scale health system reforms. She is Principal Investigator of the QuEST Centers and Network: a multi-country collaboration to produce evidence for improved health systems.
Previously, Dr. Kruk chaired the Lancet Global Health Commission on High Quality Health Systems in the SDG Era (HQSS Commission), a global initiative to redefine and measure quality in the health systems of lower-income countries. Prior to Harvard, Dr. Kruk was Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management and Director of the Better Health Systems Initiative at Columbia University and Assistant Professor of Health Management and Policy at the University of Michigan. She has held posts at the United Nations Development Program and McKinsey and Company and practiced medicine in northern Ontario, Canada. She holds an MD degree from McMaster University and an MPH from Harvard University.
"Design and Development of a Digital Program for Training Non-specialist Health Workers to Deliver an Evidence-Based Psychological Treatment for Depression in Primary Care in India"
Monday, October 26, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. EST
Digital technologies hold promise for building capacity of non-specialist health workers towards scaling up depression care in low-resource settings. In this presentation, we describe the systematic approach to designing a digital program for training non-specialist health workers to deliver an evidence-based brief psychological treatment for depression, called the Healthy Activity Program, in primary care in rural India. We provide an overview of the steps throughout the design and development process, as well as efforts to develop the digital platform, digital content; and to closely involve non-specialist health workers through multiple rounds of user feedback, field testing, and focus group discussions. We recruited non-specialist health workers from primary care facilities in Madhya Pradesh, India, and their insights were critical in informing modifications and improvements to the digital training program. Our study illustrates a step-wise approach to combine evidence-based content with iterative feedback from stakeholders to develop a digital training program tailored to the context in a low-resource setting.
John A. Naslund, PhD, is Instructor of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He holds expertise in psychiatric epidemiology, implementation science, social disparities research and digital mental health. Dr. Naslund's scholarship seeks to address early mortality that disproportionately impacts individuals living with serious mental illnesses worldwide, and to reduce the global care gap for mental disorders using novel digital methods. Dr. Naslund is one of the scientific leads of ESSENCE (Enabling Science to Service to ENhance depression CarE), one of ten prestigious National Institute of Mental Health funded U19 Scale Up Hubs involving the use of digital technology for scaling up evidence-based mental health interventions delivered by community health workers in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India. Dr. Naslund has also led numerous projects testing novel digital methods for addressing symptoms of mental illness and risk factors for early mortality in young persons living with mental illness. His work is supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, and Wellcome Trust. Dr. Naslund has over 100 peer-reviewed publications, and is an Honorary Research Fellow with Sangath, a world leading NGO and research organization based in India. Dr. Naslund has a longstanding track record advocating for the rights, dignity, and quality of healthcare for those living with mental illness.
Azaz Khan’s academic training has been and continues to be in Psychology. He has completed a master’s degree in psychology and is presently pursuing a doctoral degree in Psychology from the Barkatullah University, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India. He has been working for a decade in multiple domains intersecting with mental health across academics, developmental sector, Global Health- implementation and research, etc. His specific domains of work experience range from implementation research, end-to-end health programme management, psychometric test construction and adaptation, statistical data analysis, capacity building of mid-level health professionals, psychotherapy and teaching to master’s level psychology scholars to monitoring and evaluation of health research projects. Currently, he is working with a mental health research organization, Sangath on one of its seminal projects- ESSENCE (Enabling translation of Science to Service to ENhance Depression CarE) which is jointly run by Harvard Medical School, USA and the Department of health and family welfare ,Government of Madhya Pradesh, India. He is leading the digital Intervention component that is a psychological treatment for depression to be delivered by the non-specialist health workforce in the low resource setting.
Ritu Shrivastava is trained in public health and social work and has been working in mental health research and implementation projects from the past 4 years. Currently, She is engaged in various research and implementation activities, and leading the digital platform of the ESSENCE project. Her interest work areas are novel technology based community interventions, project administration and research.
"Human-centered Design: The What, The Why, The How"
Monday, November 16, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. EST
The term 'Design' conjures many images and interpretations in our minds. The matter gets further complicated when terms phrases like human-centered design, inclusive design, design thinking, co-creative design, systems design get thrown around. This participatory session of GRIT will focus on expanding on 'The Whats, The Whys and The Hows' related to human-centered design in our context.
Sunand Bhattacharya is a learning architect and an industrial designer who has been spearheading the design and development of BC’s first human-centered engineering program. He is also helping build a culture of collaborative innovation across BC using design-driven methodologies to address real-world challenges.
Before returning to academia, Sunand was the Global Learning Strategist for Autodesk, leading its Learning Futures team. In this role, he was responsible for the strategy, management and evangelization of Autodesk’s future influence advocacy in design related STEAM and engineering education. Prior to Autodesk, Sunand was the principal and co-founding partner of Arjuna Learning Designs LLC., a firm specializing in the creation of interactive learning objects to enhance quality of teaching and learning for leading publishing houses. He was a tenured professor of industrial design at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Sunand is a recipient of the ‘Innovative Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Technology’ award from The International Conference on College Teaching and Learning.
He holds advisory positions at US institutions like Franklin Olin College of Engineering, Purdue University Polytechnic Institute and Station1, as well as Internationally, he serves on the boards of Global Minimum Inc (GMin) in Kenya and Agastya International Foundation (US) in India.
Sunand received his MDes in Industrial Design from the National Institute of Design in India, and holds a terminal graduate degree in Industrial Design and Human Factors from The Ohio State University.
"Family-Centered and Community-Based Approaches to Global Mental Health: Meeting Children Where They Are"
Monday, December 14, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. EST
The global burden of mental health disorders is high among both adults and children. How can we address both, and how can children be reached most effectively? Dr. Puffer will discuss family- and community-based approaches to care for the hardest-to-reach families, including prevention and treatment strategies.
Dr. Eve Puffer is a global mental health researcher. She specializes in developing and evaluating child and family interventions in low-resource settings. Dr. Puffer also focuses on implementation science with a focus on community-based models of intervention delivery. She has worked extensively in Kenya and also conducts research on parenting and family-based interventions in humanitarian settings.
Improving Early Childhood Development in Rural Ghana Through Scalable Community-Run Play Schemes
Monday, February 1st, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. EST
Dr. Krutikova will present findings from an evaluation of the impact of a scalable community-led play-based learning program on children’s cognitive development and health in rural Ghana. The Lively Minds program is a “hybrid” model that simultaneously targets home and pre-school environments through engaging parents in implementation of the programme in pre-schools. Encouraging results from this study motivated the government of Ghana to form a collaboration with Lively Minds and commit to a phased scaling the programme to 60 districts and 4,000 pre-schools, reaching 1.3 million children, starting in Septemeber 2021. Dr. Krutikova is working with the government of Ghana and Lively Minds to embed an RCT into this scale-up in order to evaluate its effectiveness. In this seminar, Dr. Krutikova will also discuss their plans for combining implementation and evaluation data to disentangle key ingredients for the success of this programme.
Dr. Sonya Krutikova is the Deputy Research Director at the Institute for Fiscal studies - an economics research institute based in London. She has a PhD in Economics and her research focuses on understanding the determinants of skill acquisition among children and young people living in poverty, as well as more broadly the mechanisms through which childhood conditions manifest in child development and outcomes.
Keeping Mental Health on the Global Agenda: Opportunities at the Intersections
Monday, March 29th, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. EST
Over the last 30 years, mental disorders have remained among the most important drivers of global disease burden. Lessons learned in perinatal mental health, HIV prevention, care and treatment, and non-communicable disease management show that strategies for integrating care are feasible in high-resourced and lower resourced settings. Momentum is growing in global HIV programs and in the global mental health community to address the need for care alongside interventions to promote mental health and wellbeing. Two centers at UW directed by Dr. Pamela Collins-- UW Global Mental Health Program and the International Training and Education for Health (I-TECH)--are tackling these challenges and inviting opportunities for expanding implementation of evidence-based care and prevention of mental and substance use disorders.
Dr. Pamela Collins is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Professor of Global Health at the University of Washington, where she is executive director of the International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH) and the UW Global Mental Health Program—an interdisciplinary program dedicated to the prevention and treatment of mental health conditions in low-resource settings locally and around the world. Prior to her current role, she was director of the Office for Research on Disparities & Global Mental Health and the Office of Rural Mental Health Research at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) (USA). Her leadership led to the launch of research initiatives to extend mental health services in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, as well as research to reduce mental health disparities among diverse racial and ethnic groups and Indigenous communities in the United States. Dr. Collins’s own research focuses on the intersections of mental health and HIV care in the US and sub-Saharan Africa and the mental health needs of urban adolescents in the global context. Dr. Collins completed her undergraduate studies at Purdue University. She obtained her M.D. from Cornell University Medical College and a Master of Public Health from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She completed residency training in psychiatry at Columbia University and postdoctoral fellowship training at Columbia University and Harvard Medical School. She was formerly an associate professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and College of Physicians and Surgeons
Theory Based Implementation and Evaluation of Complex Interventions: Experiences from Ghana
Wednesday, April 28th, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. EST
Complex interventions consist of multiple interacting components and are often implemented in heterogeneous settings. While implementation scientists are encouraged to use theories to select context appropriate implementation strategies, in many situations, pre-existing theories do not exist, and theories need to be constructed from local knowledge. In this talk, we present several examples of how the Theory of Change approach typically used in program planning was used to develop implementation theories for programs of increasing complexity, and the evaluation approaches that have been designed and are in use to test these theories. While describing work still in progress, this seminar will share experiences of the process of theory building and implementation, lessons learned, results achieved to date, and evaluation approaches and challenges. This seminar will be of interest to researchers interested in evaluation in real life settings and practitioners seeking examples of the systematic application of implementation science theories and frameworks to real world settings.
Dr. Rohit Ramaswamy, PhD, MPH
Dr. Rohit Ramaswamy is the Associate Director of the Public Health Leadership Program and a Professor in Maternal and Child Health at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is also the co-director of the UNC/RTI Consortium for Implementation Science. Dr. Ramaswamy’s area of expertise is applied Implementation and Improvement science, which deals with the development and evaluation of systematic methods and tools to sustainably implement and improve complex interventions. His work blends the tools of systems science, design thinking, implementation science and continuous quality improvement to build capacity for implementation. His global projects include the improvement of clinical and operational processes in tertiary maternity hospitals in Ghana, developing the quality improvement capability of district level government staff in Kenya and integrating mental health service delivery into the district primary health care system in India. His has developed and taught Implementation Science programs in South Africa and in Zambia. Dr. Ramaswamy has a Bachelor of Technology degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, MS and PhD degrees in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a MPH degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Graduate Diploma in Biostatistics from the University of Sydney.