Health Action International

Project management: French and Russian translation of data collection tools for insulin study


Health Action International (HAI) is an independent non-profit organisation. Through its global network it conducts research and advocates to advance policies that enable access to safe, effective, affordable and quality-assured medicines around the world.


The sample shown is an excerpt from the French translation (along with the English original) of HAI’s study protocol, outlining the design of a pilot study to be conducted in Mali. The document was written by the study’s Principal Investigator and Co-investigators, and the intended readership was study personnel and participants.


As part of a programme designed to address inequities and inefficiencies in the global insulin market, HAI was looking to gather data on the use and availability of insulin in various countries. To do this, they rolled out a user-friendly mobile phone application and sent out surveys and study documents. 

The mobile app, surveys and study documents needed to be translated from English into French and Russian in clear, concise, jargon-free language that would be understandable to those taking part in the study.


Harmer Translations was chosen as the study’s dedicated translation partner. I recruited and managed a small team of French and Russian translators to work on the data collection tools, liaising with the client and translators when needed to ensure the translations were accurate and as user-friendly as possible. The tools were initially piloted in four countries: Mali (as shown in the sample), Kyrgyzstan, Peru and Tanzania. The information gathered helped the study investigators to identify barriers within the diabetes diagnostics market and build an evidence base to address these barriers.

The tools were then made publicly available for countries and organisations to use at no cost.

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