The NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Global Surgery

Improving surgical outcomes through collaborative research

Improving outcomes for patients is central to the work of the GSU. To ensure our research is relevant to communities in LMICs, we involve patients with lived experience and the public in the prioritisation, design and implementation of our clinical trials and studies. This ensures that local healthcare needs are being met and potential barriers and challenges identified and overcome early on, therefore guaranteeing the success of our studies and allowing us to have a greater impact on surgical healthcare in LMICs.

CEI StrategyCEI Projects
Community Engagement Graphic

Community Engagement and Involvement (CEI) at GSU

“…the process of working collaboratively with and through groups of people affiliated by geographic proximity, special interest, or similar situations to address issues affecting the well-being of those people”

– US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The key building blocks are:
1. Each Hub employs a CEI Lead (e.g. a research nurse), who has been trained in best practice CEI according to the UNICEF standards and is responsible for recruitment, training and ongoing support of the community representatives
2. The community representatives are well-connected key stakeholders with reach into grassroots communities
3. The Hub CEI Lead and community representatives meet regularly to form the (virtual) CEI steering committee
4. The steering committee allows us to reach those in the community who are most affected by our research and ensurse they are empowered to contribute towards decision-making

All CEI activities are being captured and evaluated by the UK-based CEI Coordinator, who is also responsible for training, monitoring and shared learning.

Ghana-PPI-Community Engagement

Ghana PPI Community Engagement

Our CEI Case Studies

Our case studies showcase practical application of CEI in LMIC settings with a focus on exploring best practice and highlighting challenges and barriers, as well as potential solutions. Learn about the tailored CEI activities.


Task-shifting inguinal hernia repair between surgeons and non-surgeon physicians in rural Ghana.


Stoma Care For Improvement Research: Epidemiologic study of stoma cases in The Philippines and qualitative research on the challenges of stoma care.

Bringing together surgeons, researchers and policy makers to set the local research agenda according to patient need in LMIC and ensuring all patients have the opportunity to take part in our research.