This study assessed the feasibility of a full-scale outcome evaluation of the NIH-supported AIDS International Training and Research Program (AITRP). Using the four-part Fogarty International Center (FIC) evaluation framework, a comprehensive list of evaluation questions was developed. This framework guided the development of a Logic Model that was adjusted in the course of the study, as well as the specific questions to be addressed. Interviews were conducted with FIC staff, NIH partners, domestic and international AIDS experts, and Principal Investigators of AITRP grants. A Review was conducted of NIH and FIC documents and scientific/policy publication to supplement interview information. To examine the integrity of trainee data, a trainee roster was compiled from multiple sources and trainees were questioned about their experiences to pre-test survey equipment. The study revealed unique features of the program, including: it responded to the epidemic many years before other organizations developed programs promoting training and research in developing areas; by providing long-term repeating grants, the program made a sustained commitment to developing countries. The study found evidence that AITRP grants result in achievements that appear to go well beyond the individuals who participate in them. The study also found that trainees may not have sufficient funds and access to institutional infrastructure to continue productive work on their chosen topics and that a more in-depth study is needed to establish whether AITRP has been successful in creating sustainable research capacity. The study authors recommended a full program evaluation to provide new and important insight into the workings and achievements of AITRP.
PIC ID: 8133; Agency Sponsor: NIH-FIC, Fogarty International Center; Federal Contact: Kupfer, Linda, 301-496-3288; Performer: Abt Associates Inc., Cambridge, MA