Introduction: In the French-speaking world, specifically in France, intervention research in global health has yet to be fully developed institutionally. The Institute of Research for Development (IRD) is one of the major public actors in global health research in France. Within this institute, researchers publish and communicate little on intervention research despite the fact that this is part of their daily work. This is why, for the past several years, the health and society department of the IRD has been working towards institutionalizing a network of IRD actors in population health intervention research (PHIR).
Objective: The objective of this article is to analyze the needs of global health actors and elements that will allow for the construction of a community of practice in order to initiate an institutional anchoring of intervention research in global health through the mobilization of IRD actors.
Method: Qualitative research was carried out in 2017 including individual and group interviews. The results yielded several observations: 1) a definition of PHIR that differs according to the participants, 2) a need to strengthen formal and informal interactions to respond to the need for training and sharing experiences, to reinforce encounters and interpersonal bonds, to increase communication and visibility of implemented actions, 3) the participants’ desire to evolve together to overcome certain inherent challenges of global health such as interdisciplinarity, North-South partnerships, or communication with different populations.
Conclusion: Conducting population health intervention research requires a certain amount of reflection on the ways in which research is done and implies significant changes in the daily lives and work of researchers. It is essential to have institutional support to develop this, such as a community of practice. However, the absence of this community of practice three years later illustrates the operational challenges of implementing such an initiative.
- global health
- intersectoral collaboration
- organizational innovation