A learning needs assessment was conducted in 2016 to ensure that all types of professionals involved in the implementation of the eB3Kit at use case institutes (and beyond) are taken into account, and that relevant courses and material are planned and produced.
The methodology followed a step-wise approach, including:
- Secondary data analysis (results from 2014 BCNet learning needs assessment);
- Consultation with B3Africa developers;
- Consultation with future users of the eB3Kit (WP 7- Use Cases): profile & self-assessment survey.
- Results from the BCNet survey illustrate that most of the biobanks are performing tasks related to biological sample acquisition and management (sample preparation, freezing, storing). However, the percentage of respondents performing other tasks, such as dealing with ELSI, sample purchasing or bioinformatics, is much lower.
- The consultation with future users from pilot institutes (WP 7- Use Cases) shows that the number of professionals involved per institute may vary significantly from an institute to another, with an high diversity of professional profiles (Biobank Managers, Biobank Technicians, Laboratory Technicians, IT Technicians or Engineers, Medical Doctors, Researchers, etc.)
- The future users' self-assessment survey reveals that, for many components/tools planned to be used included in the eB3Kit, prerequisite knowledge and skills might not be fully acquired (low level of confidence) or put into practice (low level of practice). Those skills concern principally biological data analysis and activities related to sample or data sharing. On the other hand, competencies related to sample acquisition, storage and management seem to be generally well acquired and regularly put into practice.
These results are fairly in line with results from previous surveys, such as the BCNet learning needs assessment. They reflect the great development, over the last years, of biorepository activities in low and middle income countries. They further highlight the need to support those countries in moving forward with the integration of new or complementary knowledge and skills, covering the full research cycle and generating opportunities for research collaborations.