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Leadership in strategic information (LSI) building skilled public health capacity in Ethiopia

DOI: 10.1186/1756-0500-4-292

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Trainees' skill sets increased in descriptive and analytic epidemiology, surveillance, and monitoring and evaluation (M and E). Data from the evaluation indicated that the course structure and the M and E module required revision in order to improve outcomes. Additionally, the first cohort had a high attrition rate. Overall, trainees and key stakeholders viewed LSI as important in building skilled capacity in public health in Ethiopia.The evaluation provided constructive insight in modifying the course to improve retention and better address trainees' learning needs. Subsequent course attrition rates decreased as a result of changes made based on evaluation findings.The United States (U.S.) President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), implemented in 2003, is a significant undertaking by the U.S. government to prevent and treat HIV-infected persons in developing countries [1]. Strategic Information (SI) is an essential element of PEPFAR that ensures quality data are used to guide programs supported by this initiative. Surveillance, monitoring and evaluation (M and E), health management information systems, planning, and reporting are the core components of SI [2]. As the second cycle of PEPFAR broadens its focus to health systems strengthening in addition to scaling up services for HIV care treatment and prevention (PEPFAR I), the effective use of SI is key for this venture to be successful. A recent review of PEPFAR I by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) supports the role of SI in HIV-related activities. The IOM report recommended that as PEPFAR goes forward there is a need for quality data to guide interventions, evidence-based decision making, and ongoing evaluations and research [2].The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has extensive experience in teaching the use of data for effective decision making using an applied approach that entails hands on practical training [3-5]. The use of data is central for evidence-based decisions as it leads t


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