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Open Access Short Report

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

Italia V Rolle1*, Irum Zaidi2, Jennifer Scharff1, Donna Jones1, Aynalem Firew3, Fikre Enquselassie4, Ashenafi Negash3, Negussie Deyessa4, Getnet Mitike4, Nadine Sunderland2 and Peter Nsubuga1

  • * Corresponding author: Italia V Rolle irolle@cdc.gov

  • † Equal contributors

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Public Health Systems and Workforce Development, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

2 Division of Global AIDS, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

3 Ethiopian Public Health Association, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

4 School of Public Health, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:292  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-292

Published: 12 August 2011

Abstract

Background

In many developing countries, including Ethiopia, few have the skills to use data for effective decision making in public health. To address this need, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with two local Ethiopian organizations, developed a year long Leadership in Strategic Information (LSI) course to train government employees working in HIV to use data from strategic information sources. A process evaluation of the LSI course examined the impact of the training on trainees' skills and the strengths and weaknesses of the course. The evaluation consisted of surveys and focus groups.

Findings

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.

Conclusion

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.