Qualitative Methods in Global Infectious Diseases Research



A course focused on the principles and rigorous application of qualitative methods in formative, operational, evaluation and policy research in tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and malaria. Participants will work in small groups to develop qualitative research protocols.


2017 Qualitative Methods Agenda





Amrita Daftary, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology,
Biostatistics & Occupational Health
McGill University, Canada


Nora Engel, PhD
Assistant Professor Global Health
Department of Health, Ethics and Society/ CAPHRI
Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences
Maastricht University, Netherlands





Qualitative methods can assess the social and behavioural contexts, and the complex determinants, impacts and outcomes of illness, health care seeking and disease  control efforts, including public health programs, policies, and technologies. There is growing interest to integrate qualitative methods into traditional operational  and biomedical research to improve our understanding of health care seeking behaviour, and challenges to health service delivery to better understand how and why  some interventions and technologies are successfully (or less successfully) implemented. This course will build participants’ capacity and research literacy to use qualitative methods to inform, innovate, contextualize, evaluate, and strengthen the delivery and utilization of health care technologies and services for tuberculosis  (TB), HIV/AIDS, and malaria in lower- and middle-income settings. The course will be interactive, and utilize case studies and practical exercises to cover the  following topics in qualitative research:


1. Study designs and methodologies

2. Theoretical frameworks

3. Focus groups and interviews: designs, skills and implementation

4. Approaches and methods for analysis

5. Multiple methods: integrating and sequencing qualitative and quantitative methods

6. Sampling and participant recruitment

7. Data management and storage, qualitative software

8. Ethics and evaluation criteria

9. Dissemination


Each day will begin with expert lectures on qualitative study design,  implementation, analysis, and dissemination; followed by short presentations and/or panel  discussions; and end with small group sessions to develop protocols that are implementable over the subsequent year, under the mentorship of course faculty. The  course will culminate in a panel discussion and presentation of protocols.




Mike Callaghan, PhD – London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Amrita Daftary, PhD, MPH – McGill University
Nora Engel, PhD – Maastricht University
Jennifer Furin, MD, PhD – Harvard University
Joanne Mantell, PhD – Columbia University
Andy McDowell, PhD – School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences
Bilkis Vissandjée, PhD, FCAHS – Université de Montréal


Guest Speakers


Clare Chandler, PhD, MSc – London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Deepti Chavan
Jeremiah Chikovore, PhD – Human Sciences Research Council
Matthew Hunt, PhD, PT – McGill University
Erica Lessem, MPH – Treatment Action Group
Madhukar Pai, MD, PhD – McGill University
Nadita Venkatesan


Target audience


  • Persons with a strong interest in qualitative and mixed methods, and little/no prior experience
  • Persons involved in TB, HIV/STI, and malaria programs, including program managers, innovators and M&E officers
  • Junior faculty, doctoral and postdoctoral fellows engaged in global health research
  • Clinical researchers and residents working internationally
  • Research staff, including study coordinators, with an interest in international work
  • Representatives of funding bodies and/or grant reviewers





Maximum of 30 participants