ARCADE HSSR builds capacity in health systems and services research at sub-Saharan African (SSA) universities. We focus on doctoral and post-doctoral training, institutional strengthening for education, financial and administrative research management, and South-South network building. We aim to produce a stream of well trained young HSSR scientists, the next generation of health system leaders and researchers in SSA.
Health system strengthening is a key priority in Africa. This requires greatly increased local capacity, through people with the multidisciplinary skills required to guide health sector decision making. ARCADE-HSSR aims to support this through training the next generation of health system leaders and researchers in SSA.
ARCADE HSSR aims to add new research training capacity at sub-Saharan African universities for health systems and services strengthening.
The needs assessment made clear that though there are a number of training opportunities available in SSA, most of these are disease-specific with little attention to HSSR related issues. The reach of available modules is also limited by copyright issues. The assessment also identified limited infrastructure at partner universities blended learning courses. To address these issues, HSSR has developed four blended learning courses, with three additional modules in development.
Through project funding and support, each SSA partner has also established an eLearning platform to deliver these courses. To date, four blended learning courses have been delivered across the consortium, attended by over 120 students. To further build capacity, we have developed mentoring systems for students, and research protocols have been submitted to funders by staff and students involved in the project. A key achievement for ARCADE HSSR is the signing of double degree agreements between Stellenbosch University, South Africa, and Karolinska Institutet, Sweden and Makerere University, Uganda.
The lessons learnt from implementing cross-institutional blended learning courses can add to knowledge on delivering blended learning in SSA settings. ARCADE HSSR has taken the field of blended learning forward in SSA. The project has also successfully built relationships between SSA universities, with decreasing support from Northern partners. The blended learning courses, when finalised, can be used by students and lecturers to build capacity across the world, as they are freely available.