Evaluating community-based medical education programmes in Africa: A workshop report

R J Bailey, R K Baingana, I D Couper, C B Deery, D Nestel, H Ross, A S Sagay, Z M Talib


Background. The Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) supports medical schools in Africa to increase the capacity and quality of medical education,
improve retention of graduates, and promote regionally relevant research. Many MEPI programmes include elements of community-based education (CBE) such
as: community placements; clinical rotations in underserved locations, community medicine, or primary health; situational analyses; or student-led research.
Methods. CapacityPlus and the MEPI Coordinating Center conducted a workshop to share good practices for CBE evaluation, identify approaches that
can be used for CBE evaluation in the African context, and strengthen a network of CBE collaborators. Expected outcomes of the workshop included
draft evaluation plans for each school and plans for continued collaboration among participants. The workshop focused on approaches and resources
for evaluation, guiding exploration of programme evaluation including data collection, sampling, analysis, and reporting. Participants developed logic
models capturing inputs, activities, outputs, and expected outcomes of their programmes, and used these models to inform development of evaluation
plans. This report describes key insights from the workshop, and highlights plans for CBE evaluation among the MEPI institutions.
Results. Each school left the workshop with a draft evaluation plan. Participants agreed to maintain communication and identified concrete areas for collaboration
moving forward. Since the workshop’s conclusion, nine schools have agreed on next steps for the evaluation process and will begin implementation of their plans.
Conclusion. This workshop clearly demonstrated the widespread interest in improving CBE evaluation efforts and a need to develop, implement, and
disseminate rigorous approaches and tools relevant to the African context.

Authors' affiliations

R J Bailey, Team leader for Health Workforce Development for the USAID-funded CapacityPlus Project led by IntraHealth International, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA

R K Baingana, Lecturer with Makerere University College of Health Sciences and the co-ordinator of MESAU Consortium Community-based Education, Research, and Service Evaluation, Kampala, Uganda

I D Couper, Professor and director, Centre for Rural Health in the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa and a consultant to MEPI for the CapacityPlus Project led by IntraHealth International

C B Deery, Medical student at Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA

D Nestel, Professor of Simulation Education in Healthcare, School of Rural Health/HealthPEER at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

H Ross, Technical advisor for the USAID-funded CapacityPlus Project led by IntraHealth International, Washington, DC, USA

A S Sagay, Professor of obstetrics and gynecology, College of Medical Sciences, University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria

Z M Talib, Associate professor of medicine and of health policy and faculty on the MEPI Coordinating Center at George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA

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Community-based education; MEPI; Program evaluation; Evaluation tools; Medical education; Undergraduate; Africa

Cite this article

African Journal of Health Professions Education 2015;7(1):140. DOI:10.7196/AJHPE.475

Article History

Date submitted: 2014-07-30
Date published: 2016-01-26

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