Higher education institution partnership to strengthen the health care workforce in Afghanistan

Carolyn M. Porta, Erin M. Mann, Rohina Amiri, Melissa D. Avery, Sheba Azim, Janice M. Conway-Klaassen, Parvin Golzareh, Mahdawi Joya, Emil Ivan Mwikarago, Mohammad Bashir Nejabi, Megan Olejniczak, Raghu Radhakrishnan, Olive Tengera, Manuel S. Thomas, Julia L. Weinkauf, Stephen M. Wiesner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Despite ongoing insecurity, Afghanistan has demonstrated improvement in health outcomes. Reasons for this success include a strategic public-private health service delivery model and investment in Afghan health care workforce development. Afghan universities have the primary responsibility for ensuring that an adequate health care workforce is available to private and public health care delivery settings. Most entry-level health care providers working in Afghanistan are educated within the country. However, university constraints, including faculty shortages and limited access to professional development, have affected both the flow of the health care workforce pipeline and the skill levels and competencies of those who do enter the workforce. Aware of these constraints and workforce needs, the administration at Kabul University of Medical Sciences (KUMS), working in collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education, prioritized investment in strengthening technical and academic capabilities within four faculties (anesthesiology, dentistry, medical laboratory technology, and midwifery). KUMS partnered with the University of Minnesota in 2017 with United States Agency for International Development support through the University Support and Workforce Development Program. Together they established a unique training-of-trainers (TOT) faculty development program to improve faculty knowledge and skills specific to their technical expertise, as well as knowledge and skills in instructional design and research methods. In this article, we describe the successes and challenges associated with partnership development, implementation, and sustainability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-106
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Higher Education
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The University of Minnesota partnership with Kabul University of Medical Sciences is made possible by the support of USAID and FHI 360 through award number AID-306-A-13-00009. The contents are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the US Government, or FHI360.

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the faculty and leadership of KUMS for their willingness to trust and partner with new institutions and for their ongoing and long-term commitment to the partnership. The authors acknowledge the faculty colleagues from partner institutions represented in this project who participated in designing and implementing the partnership activities, including Aparna Narayana from Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Anicet Rucogoza from the Rwanda Biomedical Center, and Justine Bagirisano from the University of Rwanda. Sincere thanks as well to Jessamyn Embry and Molly O?Bryan, who provided substantial and critical logistical support for this partnership. There were many others, too many to name, and we are grateful for their engagement and commitment to excellence. The University of Minnesota partnership with Kabul University of Medical Sciences is made possible by the support of USAID and FHI 360 through award number AID-306-A-13-00009. The contents are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the US Government, or FHI360.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Sciedu Press. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Faculty development
  • Health sciences
  • Health workforce development
  • Instructional design
  • Research training
  • Teaching methods
  • Training of trainers
  • University partnership

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