An assessment of social accountability among South African pharmacy schools from public domain information
Global health education reform requires training institutions to align their education, service and research activities with the values of social accountability, which include relevance, equity, quality and effectiveness. The alignment with these values aims to ensure graduates who are competent to meet society’s priority health needs, especially those of marginalised and underserved communities. This study aimed to qualitatively assess the alignment of activities of the nine South African pharmacy schools with the values of social accountability from information and evidence available in the public domain. Data were collected from pharmacy schools’ websites, and related publications and newsletters. Information was grouped into predetermined categories representing the different values of social accountability. A scoring rubric was adapted that assessed the alignment of the information and evidence collected to the values of relevance equity and quality. Each pharmacy school’s information was initially reviewed and scored by three independent reviewers. Each of the reviewers cross-checked each other’s allocated scores and any variations in scores were settled via consensus between the reviewers. The information of six pharmacy schools was assessed. For relevance, pharmacy schools scored over 50% and above for all their activities. For equity, schools showed most variation in their educational activities, and least variation in their service activities. For quality, schools showed most consistency with education and service activities but most variation occurred in the quality of services. Information from the public domain may be useful in assessing social accountability. The depth of information that schools could share publicly remains a key question.
Keywords: Equity, pharmacy education, quality, relevance, social accountability.