Effective Practices in Providing Online, In-Service Training to Health Service Professionals in Low-Resource Settings

Journal Article
  • Karen Sherk Chio
International Journal of Training and Development
16 (3) (Sept. 2012): 228-34.

As doctors, nurses and public health professionals are promoted into management and leadership positions in resource-poor countries around the world, they are tasked with leading teams and managing drugs and financial and material resources. These responsibilities require a set of skills and knowledge different from that needed for their clinical work, and these skills are rarely taught in medical, nursing or public health school curricula. Health professionals are asking for training in management and leadership (Dwyer et al., 2006) but often have limited time and few resources or opportunities. This article describes effective practices in providing online, in-service training to health professionals in low-resource settings to meet these identified needs. Despite sometimes problematic Internet connectivity because of service interruptions, electricity outages or the lack of availability of computers, more than 4,000 health professionals from 77 middle- and low-income countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe have successfully participated in virtual management and leadership development programs to strengthen their skills and organizations. This article examines how blended e-learning programs for health professionals can be effectively delivered in settings with problematic connectivity, supporting participants' efforts achieve results in health.