USAID ASSIST Project Announces Journal Series on Health Worker Training

The USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) project announces a new journal series about health worker in-service training (IST), which is on-the-job instruction designed to strengthen health worker competence and performance. Two articles from the series, called "Improving the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of health worker in-service training: Closing the gaps between evidence, practice and outcomes," are now available through the open-access journal Human Resources for Health:

Three more articles will be published over the next few months. Developed in collaboration with USAID, IntraHealth, Jhpiego, and I-TECH, the series was initiated through the USAID Health Care Improvement Project and over 100 experts from over 26 countries who developed and reached consensus on the Global Improvement Framework for Health Worker In-service Training. The framework provides good practices for improving IST effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability and offers guidance on strengthening training systems to support better performance and health care outcomes.

"It was clear in the process of coming together to jointly develop the IST improvement framework that evidence and evaluation for improving IST has been lacking," Lois Schaefer, USAID Senior Technical Advisor for Human Capacity Development and Training, explains in a recent BioMed Central blog. "This series of articles provides an opportunity to begin filing this gap, and hopefully will encourage others to contribute to further knowledge exchange for strengthening IST and training systems." The framework, which will launch later this year, will serve as a tool for program implementers, Ministries of Health, and professional and regulatory bodies to aid IST program self-assessment and improvement.

In-service training represents a significant proportion of investments made by Ministries of Health and development partners in building the capacity of health workers to provide quality health services competently, safely, and efficiently. Yet, IST programs are rarely evaluated and, in many instances, are not used to support the development of national continuing education or professional development systems for health workers. Recognizing the lack of literature on improving IST and strengthening training systems, this series seeks to promote the use of evidence and evaluation to inform better practices, maximize training outcomes, and stimulate further research in the field.

Health worker in-service training on maternal care in Uganda. Photo by Annie Clark, USAID Health Care Improvement Project, URC.
Health worker in-service training on maternal care in Uganda. Photo by Annie Clark, USAID Health Care Improvement Project, URC.
October 01, 2013
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