Administrative Core

The Administrative Core (AC) aims to establish and engage a trans-disciplinary research consortium of academics, government representatives and non-governmental organisations across the three countries to address the burden of common mental disorders in primary health care settings. The AC will manage all operations including developing monitoring systems for all SMhINT activities and milestones, and a process evaluation of the partnership. 

Progress

  • IRB approval has been obtained from the Biomedical Research Ethics Committee (BF190/17, received 2 May 2017) at UKZN as well as the South African Department of Health. Recertification of the IRB Approval was also received in April 2018. Ethics approval will be sought once the capacity building trainees have developed their proposals.

  • The Admin-Core provides executive coordination of the overall project to ensure operations are on track and to deal with complex issues as they arise. The AC has also to date ensured that SMhINT resources facilitate rigorous implementation procedures and methods. The AC has been responsible for managing finances and communication as well as operational issues across research and capacity building activities. 

  • A steering committee meeting is held monthly and comprises of each component (Scale-Up, Capacity Building, Admin Core Executive). The steering committee meetings are important as they provide oversight of the work of the scale-up study as well as capacity building oversight and strategic planning. The SMhINT infrastructure has also allowed for the collaboration of international implementation science experts on the development and the support of the Scale-up study. 

Annual Meetings

  • Start-Up Meeting: A 4-day SMhINT Start-Up meeting took place in Durban, South Africa (December 2017). The meeting provided an excellent opportunity for all the partners from the different countries to meet and learn from each other. The meeting was particularly useful for partner countries to get an overview of our work in South Africa and how research activities can link to the SMhINT project. It was also valuable to learn about our partner country needs around Capacity Development. The meeting created a platform for the Department/Ministry of Health officials from the different countries to learn and collaborate with each other.

  • A 3-day annual meeting took place in Beira, Mozambique (September 2018). The meeting was opened by a Mozambican Ministry of Health representative who expressed the ministries support of the SMhINT project. The meeting provided an excellent platform to report on progress to date in all the components and to discuss the way forward in terms of the Scale-Up Study and the Capacity Building Component. The collaboration of implementation science experts within the team was extremely valuable in discussing complex real world challenges and mapping the way forward for the next 6 months. The meeting also provided the opportunity for the SMhINT team to meet the Mozambican Capacity Building Trainees.

  • A 3-day annual meeting took place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (October 2019).  This was an important opportunity to understand the Tanzanian public mental health context, meet the Tanzanian trainees and to share learnings between the countries.

  • The AC directors (Petersen, Rao and Bhana) have been participating in the NIMH quarterly Inter-Hub meetings. The three AC Directors have also attended the Annual Scale-Up Hubs Meetings in 2018 in New Delhi, India and in 2019 in Bogota, Colombia.