Original Research

Online capacity building for the health workforce: the case of the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response for the African region

Boukare Bonkoungou, Heini Utunen, Ambrose O. Talisuna, Gillian O’Connell, Etien Koua, Dick D. Chamla, Elham Arabi, Anna Tokar, Abdou S. Gueye
Journal of Public Health in Africa | Vol 14, No 12 | a33 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4081/jphia.2023.2478 | © 2024 Boukare Bonkoungou, Heini Utunen, Ambrose O. Talisuna, Gillian O’Connell, Etien Koua, Dick D. Chamla, Elham Arabi, Anna Tokar, Abdou S. Gueye | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 March 2024 | Published: 30 December 2023

About the author(s)

Boukare Bonkoungou, Training Officer, Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) Programme, WHO Regional Office for Africa, Brazzaville, Congo
Heini Utunen, Learning and Capacity Development Unit, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization, Genève, Switzerland
Ambrose O. Talisuna, Emergency Preparedness and Response Cluster, World Health Organisation Regional Office for Africa (EPR), Brazzaville, Congo
Gillian O’Connell, Learning and Capacity Development Unit, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization, Genève, Switzerland
Etien Koua, Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) Programme, WHO Regional Office for Africa, Cité du Djoué, Brazzaville, Congo
Dick D. Chamla, Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) Programme, WHO Regional Office for Africa, Cité du Djoué, Brazzaville, Congo
Elham Arabi, Learning and Capacity Development Unit, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization, Genève, Switzerland
Anna Tokar, Learning and Capacity Development Unit, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization, Genève, Switzerland
Abdou S. Gueye, Regional Emergency Director, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization, Genève, Switzerland

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Abstract

Background: The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Africa (AFRO) has developed a comprehensive capacity development programme to support the successful implementation of the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response 3rd edition Technical Guidelines (IDSR). As part of the learning program, a series of asynchronous online courses are offered on OpenWHO in English, French and Portuguese. This paper describes the use of five IDSR online courses and reports on feedback received from learners on Course 1 in the English series. Methods: An online learner survey was developed, and a descriptive analysis was conducted. This paper also reports on use related empirical metadata from the OpenWHO platform. Results: Overall, learners (97%-n/N) of Course 1 IDSR English series indicated a positive perception toward their online learning experience because of the quality of course content, its organization, ease of use and relevance to their workplace needs. In addition, 88% (n/N) of learners reported that they had used their acquired knowledge at least sometimes and 54.4% (n/N) had shared their learning with others. Lastly, the quiz analyses showed an average of right answers of 78.97% for quiz 1 and 69.94% for quiz 2. Conclusion: Online learning is an essential component of a blended capacity development programme and provides cost effective, equitable and impactful learning. Learners who have a learning goal and find their needs met in courses tend to show more satisfaction and motivation to share their learning.

Keywords

Online learning; Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response; Blended learning; Public Health Emergencies; WHO

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