This paper describes main features of a program of technical assistance in South Asia (primarily India) designed to help comm -unity health researchers develop more effective data gathering and analysis in applied studies of reproductive health issues. The program was funded by the Ford Foundation (India) and organized under a grant to Johns Hopkins University. Recipients of the technical assistance have been mainly small nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and some social science researchers in academic institutions in India. In most cases, the participants have been involved in community-based intervention programs, so the research activities have had a directly applied focus. The increasing challenge of the AIDS epidemic brought about a shift in emphasis in the program, as many organizations and individuals took up research on sexual behavior to better understand the patterns of individual actions that are associated with higher risks of HIV infection. An informal "sexual behavior research network" has developed as the program of technical assistance and the communications among the various participants matured. The use of computers for data management and e-mail communication has facilitated these developments.

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