The impact of a faculty development programme for health professions educators in sub-Saharan Africa : an archival study

Frantz, Jose M. ; Bezuidenhout, Juanita ; Burch, Vanessa C. ; Mthembu, Sindi ; Rowe, Michael ; Tan, Christina ; Van Wyk, Jacqueline ; Van Heerden, Ben (2015-03)

CITATION: Frantz, J. M. et al. 2015. The impact of a faculty development programme for health professions educators in sub-Saharan Africa : an archival study. BMC Medical Education, 15:28, doi:10.1186/s12909-015-0320-7.

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Background: In 2008 the sub-Saharan FAIMER Regional Institute launched a faculty development programme aimed at enhancing the academic and research capacity of health professions educators working in sub-Saharan Africa. This two-year programme, a combination of residential and distance learning activities, focuses on developing the leadership, project management and programme evaluation skills of participants as well as teaching the key principles of health professions education-curriculum design, teaching and learning and assessment. Participants also gain first-hand research experience by designing and conducting an education innovation project in their home institutions. This study was conducted to determine the perceptions of participants regarding the personal and professional impact of the SAFRI programme. Methods: A retrospective document review, which included data about fellows who completed the programme between 2008 and 2011, was performed. Data included fellows’ descriptions of their expectations, reflections on achievements and information shared on an online discussion forum. Data were analysed using Kirkpatrick’s evaluation framework. Results: Participants (n=61) came from 10 African countries and included a wide range of health professions educators. Five key themes about the impact of the SAFRI programme were identified: (1) belonging to a community of practice, (2) personal development, (3) professional development, (4) capacity development, and (5) tools/strategies for project management and/or advancement. Conclusion: The SAFRI programme has a positive developmental impact on both participants and their respective institutions.

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