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