The Union’s Centre for Operational Research (COR), established in 2009 to enhance the operational research capacity of low- and middle-income countries, published its 1000th scientific paper in September 2018.

The 1000th paper came from one of the participants of the First National Structured Operational Research Training Initiative (SORT IT) Course in Zimbabwe. SORT IT courses aim to build capacity of public health professionals in countries with serious communicable disease epidemics and growing epidemics of non-communicable diseases. Since 2009, nearly 700 health professionals from 90 countries have been trained through these intensive courses in the practical skills needed to conduct and publish operational research.

The programme provides a sustainable method for developing country-level resources, with several alumni from SORT IT courses having gone on to lead courses in their countries. In addition, reports have shown that nearly two thirds of the publications resulting from these courses have given rise to a change in policy and/or practice at the country level.