Speaking their world : an assessment of the professional development needs of Mozambican trainers
Stevenson, Katherine M.
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The Training for Health Renewal Program (THRP) is a multi-year CIDA-funded partnership between the Health Science Faculties at the University of Saskatchewan and the Ministry of Health of Mozambique. Participatory Teaching, Learning and Research: Core Facilitator Training was a curriculum offered to participant Trainers in THRP between August 1999 and November 2000, at the University of Saskakatchewan. The participants were seven Mozambican health care workers who have since returned to Mozambique to work as “core facilitators of improved community health practice” in Massinga, Mozambique. In January, 2001, I traveled to Mozambique to contribute to the overall THRP program evaluation through the completion of a needs assessment. The assessment examined the current practice experience of the Trainers, used that experience to assist the Trainers in identifying professional development needs, and examined the use of the Story-Dialogue method as used in this particular context. The participants were six of the original seven Trainers. Data were collected using one-on-one interviews, the Story-Dialogue method, a focus group debriefing session, and journaling. The current practice experience of the Trainers involved both challenges and successes. Challenges included bridging several gaps related to having studied in Canada in order to practice in Mozambique, working with local communities, working with colleagues and students, and a lack of support. Successes described included those found when working with local communities and working as a team. The Trainers identified a rich breadth of professional development needs. Content needs included learning related to planning, formalizing their practice of critical reflection, recognizing their own assets and limitations, and dealing with organization issues affecting their professional development. As well, the Trainers identified course-specific areas of interest. Methods for achieving development included relationship building, use of distance education and participatory methods, and formalizing access to continuing education. Finally, the Story-Dialogue method was found to be particularly useful in this context. The Trainers found the method fostered both personal and organizational change and was inclusive. Challenges of the method included the risk of disclosure, the need to formalize follow-up, and the potential need to adapt the method depending on the community using it.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
DepartmentCommunity Health and Epidemiology
ProgramCommunity Health and Epidemiology
CommitteeD'Eon, Marcel; Tan, Leonard
Copyright DateMay 2003