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CHEPSAA’s second curriculum development workshop gets underway

The Consortium for Health Policy and Systems Analysis in Africa (CHEPSAA) is this week (13-17 May 2013) holding its second curriculum development workshop in Cape Town, South Africa. The week’s activities will be focused on beginning to finalise CHEPSAA’s first collectively developed course, entitled Introduction to Health Policy and Systems, and initiating the development of a second course, provisionally named Introduction to Health Policy and Systems Research. 

Both these courses are intended to be run at master’s level and the current plan is to pilot them for the first time in 2014 as part of the Winter School of the University of the Western Cape, one of the CHEPSAA partners. 

CHEPSAA is an EU-funded partnership between African and European universities, the aim of which is to increase sustainable African capacity to produce and use high quality health policy and systems research and analysis. CHEPSAA’s strategy has a number of pillars, including building the capacity of its partner organisations and pursuing the consolidation and strengthening of African research and educational programmes.

Against this backdrop, CHEPSAA is working towards the development of open educational resources, including the two courses mentioned above, which will be made available through its website and freely downloadable by anyone interested in using the materials as-is or adapting them to other contexts. Indeed, CHEPSAA has already made some open access materials available on its website (, including modules on health policy analysis and the management of human resources for health.

The development of the course Introduction to Health Policy and Systems began in CHEPSAA’s first curriculum development workshop in May 2012. It is planned to include lectures, exercises and assessments on topics such as the nature of health systems, conceptual frameworks that can be used to unpack health systems and the use of systems thinking and policy analysis concepts to think about how to strengthen health systems.

In an interesting spin-off of this first workshop in 2012, two of CHEPSAA’s partner organisations – the School of Public Health of the University of Ghana and the College of Medicine of the University of Nigeria (Enugu Campus) – used the curriculum development concepts and approaches drawn on in the CHEPSAA workshop to conduct curriculum development workshops in their own organisations, thereby broadening capacity and stimulating further curriculum review and development.

The outline and development steps of the course Introduction to Health Policy and Systems Research will only begin to take shape in this year’s workshop, but the intention is to build on courses currently being offered and once again to set in motion a collaborative development process which will draw on the skills and knowledge of all CHEPSAA partners.

These curriculum development processes are not just focused on subject knowledge and course content, but are also viewed as capacity building opportunities through which it is possible to strengthen and expand the curriculum development experience of the CHEPSAA partner organisations.

PICTURED BELOW: Prof. Benjamin Uzochukwu of the Health Policy Research Group, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria (Enugu Campus) and Dr Genevieve Aryeety of the School of Public Health, University of Ghana, explain how they have used CHEPSAA’s initial curriculum development workshop in 2012 to inform further curriculum development workshops in their own organisations.

Prof. Benjamin Uzochukwu

Dr Genevieve Aryeety