Dear Anne,  I love your questions they are very insight full. They would help one gauge how far they have gone to understand the community they are working in, in particular doing research in, whether the research they are doing is relevant to where they are conducting it from and whether community has contribution to the whole research that is taking place in their area.

I would rate myself at 6 in terms of Biomedical research competency.

For the second question, it is challenge in the area of  understanding community needs and priorities! Little is done to explore community needs and priorities since the research ideas are developed from outside the participating community.For example most protocols that we have implemented have been developed from the US, the implementing research site does little input the process, and eventually the community need and priority is not reflected anywhere. The funder/ sponsor of the protocol has his agenda and it takes precedent.

In order to engage stakeholders, a combination of tools have to be used. they include; conducting workshops, training, breakfast meetings, briefing meetings, community meetings, bazzare, radio talk shows, engaging the leadership structure of the community  etc. Through these the population engaged would improve their research competency which eventually enhances mutual understanding.

I still agree these are key issues to be done.