Development of skills / capacity building are no doubts the major tasks of
any programme dealing with Health (Research) in developing countries. But
how should it be done?
As a local newspaper in Zimbabwe stated it recently there is the 'workshop
virus' rampant in many countries. You try to get hold of an official and
are being told he/she is on a workshop. Try again next week: another
workshop. For some people attending workshops becomes another source of
income in view of the lucrative 'per diems' or 'sitting allowances' paid by
some donor agencies.
On the other hand some lower health cadres have not attended any further
courses after their basic training five or more years ago.
What could be done?
1. More 'on-the-job' training accompanied and monitored by local facilitators;
2. Distant learning programmes (e.g. via e-mail) complimented by short
3. Paying for the training instead of getting a posh allowance.
I know that particularly # 3 is very provocative but should be interested
to hear the opinion of my colleagues especially from developing countries.
Dieter Neuvians MD
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