Formative research can inform country-level HPV vaccine delivery strategies, communication messages, and advocacy plans. This paper describes our formative research’s conceptual framework; details our applied methodology; summarizes our field experience and challenges; and outlines best practices for formative research in vaccine introduction.
From 2006–2008, literature reviews, stakeholder mapping, sociocultural studies, health system assessments, and policy reviews were conducted. Data collection at individual, interpersonal, community, institutional, and policy levels included in-depth interviews, focus groups, surveys, observations, secondary data, and facility audits. Data were analyzed thematically using an iterative process.
Integrated formative research can be implemented in low-resource settings, but may require overcoming operational challenges. Best practices in applied formative research include a conceptual framework, multidisciplinary approach, and rapid dissemination of results.
Formative research informs effective health program planning by examining complex and interrelated factors surrounding vaccination. Methodologically sound formative research provides valid and reliable evidence for country level vaccine introduction.