TARGETS operational research provides evidence of a range of social and structural barriers that undermine the successful treatment of communicable diseases. The Consortium investigates how vulnerability to disease is produced by determinants such as gender and ethnicity (e.g. minority tribal groups), social stigma around diseases such as TB and HIV, and systemic constraints such as a shortage of health care workers.

TARGETS partners have implemented operational research or interventions to address some of these barriers. Research in Zambia and South Africa combining both anthropological and epidemiological studies on the relationship between TB and poverty, has revealed a strong association between food security and TB in Zambia and South Africa. Consortium partners in India have implemented strategies to increase referral rates between private practitioners and the national TB programme.