Developing a Training Curriculum for Health Research Fieldworkers across Africa

MRC Unit The Gambia  successfully hosted the 2nd International Fieldworkers’ Workshop from the 2nd – 4th November 2015. The aim of the workshop was to work collaboratively to develop a framework for a training curriculum for health research fieldworkers across Africa. The workshop attracted 20 international participants from 17 medical/health research institutions from 12 different countries across Africa. Participants included individuals from the Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies (South Africa), KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme (Kenya), Ifakara Health Research Institute (Tanzania), and Malawi Liverpool – Wellcome Trust Research Programme (Malawi).

FieldworkersParticipants were mainly fieldworker managers and fieldworker trainers. The workshop was facilitated by resource persons from The United Kingdom, South Africa, Cameroon, Kenya and The Gambia. The Unit was represented by all fieldworker trainers and training committee members. Fieldworkers from Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the Gambian government were also represented.

The participants had the opportunity to share specific experiences and engage in group discussions identifying generic and context specific modules from presentations. Discussions were centered on common modules for fieldworkers in Africa, typical learning methods to be used to deliver training and challenges that could be faced and how to overcome them. The facilitators of the workshop provided guidance on the modules, to ensure context specific modules which address the issues of a generic harmonized curriculum in achieving accreditation.

The fieldworkers’ workshop was concluded on Wednesday 4th November 2015 at Keneba Field Station. The participants had training on pedagogies with the objective of understanding different training methods and their appropriateness in delivering the various curriculum modules. They also had training on processes of delivering a harmonized curriculum.

At the end of the workshop, participants were able to identify core modules that will be developed into a common curriculum for training fieldworkers across Africa.