Developing a Framework to Evaluate Training Programs Provided by WHO: The Feasibility of Incorporating Social Justice, Cultural Competency and Return on Investment

By Joy Fraser.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Every year increasing amounts of financial and human resources are invested globally to support the provision of training for health care providers. One can point to much anecdotal and some formal documentation about the positive results of such endeavours, but there is little real evidence that investing these resources contributes to building the capacity of individuals and countries to achieve improved health outcomes. It is important to demonstrate that the time and money spent on training programs is an effective and efficient use of resources and that these efforts result in scaling up of the numbers of health care workers who have positive impacts on global health. However, according to observations from personnel at the World Health Organization (WHO), and from a review of the WHO website and documents, there is no comprehensive framework to evaluate the impact of training programs for health professionals. In addition to the need to demonstrate accountability, those providing training rely on efficient and reliable monitoring and evaluation systems for quality assurance purposes. Therefore, in collaboration with the office of Nursing and Midwifery at WHO, the author engaged in participatory action research related to impact evaluation of training programs. The purpose of the research was to gather information with which to develop a framework for impact evaluation that could be used to improve upon the design and delivery of training programs for health workers. The intention was to examine the types of evaluation methods currently being used, explore the degree to which users are satisfied with these methods, and to gather ideas about what should be included in a comprehensive evaluation framework. In addition to return on investment (ROI), the feasibility of incorporating indicators of social justice and cultural competency was explored. Participants identified the need for a practical framework with specific indicators that measure a variety of qualitative and quantitative aspects of educational outcomes.

Keywords: Evaluation, Education, Training, Health Professionals, Return on Investment (ROI), Social Justice, Cultural Competency

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 14, Issue 9, pp.103-110. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 507.070KB).

Dr. Joy Fraser

Associate Professor, Centre for Nursing and Health Studies, Athabasca University, Canada

Dr. Joy Fraser has diverse experience in clinical nursing, teaching, research and administration. She is local and international consultant on distance education, evaluation, accreditation, social justice and human rights. Joy received her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Educational Administration, Policy Studies, and her Master and Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada. Besides her academic research and teaching, Dr. Fraser participates in a range of community activities and is active on many non-government and government boards which focus on multicultural and diversity education, human rights and environmentalism She has been a consultant with the Edmonton Multicultural Health Brokers Cooperative since 2002 and with WHO since 1999.


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