Celebrating a New Class of Stakeholder Engagement Experts

December 22, 2016

AVAC is happy to announce that another class has graduated from the GPP Online Training Course. GPP, or the Good Participatory Practice Guidelines, provide systematic guidance on effective engagement with stakeholders in the design and conduct of biomedical HIV prevention trials.

Two years ago, the first learners of the GPP Online Training Course completed the 12-week program. The online course is a mixed-method approach designed to strengthen the practice of individuals responsible for stakeholder engagement in research. Using an intensive GPP workplan development approach, webinars, and interactive modules with expert facilitators, the course has amplified the benefits of GPP to an increasing number of researchers, advocates and funders.

To date, 120 participants from 16 countries in Africa, Asia, North and South America, and Europe have received GPP certification through the course. The course’s reach has expanded beyond HIV prevention research to additional fields such as TB drug and vaccine development, diabetes, and emerging pathogens like Ebola. While the primary audience for the course remains individuals responsible for planning and implementing community and stakeholder engagement plans at trial sites, we’re experiencing a growing scope of course participants. For instance, civil society representatives have enrolled to build PrEP advocacy plans in their settings. Trial sponsors, including the pharmaceutical industry, also have a growing interest in taking the course to help develop their own models of GPP implementation.

In addition to the benefit of developing a tailored GPP workplan as a result of the course, learners consistently ascribe great value in learning from their peers in the multi-faceted and diverse course cohorts. Once complete, AVAC helps learners stay connected through the Stakeholder Engagement Community of Practice.

As we move into 2017, AVAC hopes to grow the online course to even higher standards and wider audiences! The next course will begin January 2017. To find out more, including how to apply, please email gpponlinecourse@avac.org.

HIV prevention research is going strong, generating new insights and refining the scientific foundations for defeating the virus. It is both an energized and complicated moment in the field, and stakeholder engagement is key to our collective success. AVAC is proud to acknowledge the accomplishments of all the learners who have become certified in GPP over the past two years!