Title: Planning and Management of Reproductive Health Programmes
Keywords: Sexual & reproductive health
Planning and programming (incl.. budgeting and evaluation)
Gender & health
Country: Belgium
Institution: Belgium - Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine
Course coordinator: Marie Laga
Date start: 2018-03-05
Date end: 2018-05-11
About duration and dates: 10 weeks
Classification: advanced optional
Mode of delivery: Face to face
Course location: Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerpen, Belgium
ECTS credit points: 12 ECTS credits
406 hours SIT
246 contact hours + 160 self study hours = 406 SIT
(See details per module / assignment in table at the end of this document)

Remark: Although the student investment time equals 13,5 ECTS, according to tropEd regulations, 12 ECTS is the maximum allowed or taken into account for advanced modules.
Language: English

At the end of the course, the participants will be able to:
- Assess the importance of the different aspects of a comprehensive range of sexual and reproductive health problems and diseases and their main determinants at national or more local levels.
- Critically appraise possible strategies in sexual and reproductive health (SRH) based on evidence and contextual elements;
- Prioritise and formulate specific strategies related to sexual and reproductive health within the framework of the existing health system and social context;
- Plan implementation of those strategies considering the existing health system organisation; the actors involved including the community; the available resources; human rights and gender aspects;
- Monitor and evaluate sexual and reproductive health programmes
Assessment Procedures:
Assessment is based on two individual assignments.

1) Project Formulation with PCM/LF:

The assignment consists of 7 steps:

- to conduct a stakeholder analysis,
- to analyse a RH problem by constructing a problem tree,
- to convert a problem tree into an objective tree,
- to identify possible strategies to solve the problems,
- to prioritise strategies according to given criteria,
- to construct a logical framework for selected strategies,
- to practice a presentation in a poster format

Before each step the methodology is explained in an introductory lecture. Examples are presented and discussed in plenary sessions. The assignment is to be made individually but exchanging ideas in small groups is encouraged. Methodological and technical coaches guide the participants. The project is presented in a poster format.

The quality of the poster presentations is formally assessed by one of the methodological coaches and one member of staff with expertise in the domain related to the chosen problem. The assessment criteria are related to the learning objectives and communicated on beforehand.
The mark for the project formulation assignment counts for 40% of the final mark. (70% for content/methods and 30% for format)

2) Strategy analysis:

The assignment consists of 5 steps:

1. a concise situation analysis, response analysis related to the strategic axis and identification of current problems linked to the chosen strategic axis and its activities;
2. an argumentation of the relevance of a specific strategic axis and its corresponding activities as response to identified problems in a specific country context, and if need be, propositions for change of the strategic axis;
3. an analysis of the feasibility of the implementation of this strategic axis with regard to 5 dimensions: (1) health service organisation , (2) collaboration with other programmes, (3)cultural and/or political acceptability , (4) human resources (HR) and associated cost , (5) supply of medicines and/or other essential logistics and associated cost ;
4. An identification and critical reflexion on the role of relevant stakeholders for the implementation;
5. an analysis of indicators for monitoring of the implementation (=process indicators) and output (=output indicators)

The assignment is coached by staff members in groups of 4-5 peers. It ends in a presentation during a seminar for staff and peers
The quality of the seminar presentation and discussion is formally assessed by three members of staff of which at least one has expertise in the domain related to the chosen strategy. The assessment criteria are related to the learning objectives and communicated beforehand.
The mark for the strategy analysis assignment counts for 60% of the assessment mark for the module. (70% for content and 30% for communication)

Second chance sessions
Participants who did not obtain the pass mark of 50% (10/20) in the first assessment session, for either assignment, get the possibility to present a revised version in a second (re-sit) session.

The module includes 5 thematic sub-modules:

Focus on technical and managerial aspects of: diagnostic strategies, scaling up of treatment and PMTCT, HIV/TB co-infection, promotion and prevention. Special attention to situation analysis, leadership, human rights, health system strengthening, monitoring indicators and evaluation designs (M&E)

2. Sexually Transmitted Infections
Following a short introduction to overall RH context and strategies (refresher of core course RH content), focus on technical and managerial aspects of STI diagnostics and control, including the syndromic approach, syphilis elimination, HPV/ cervical cancer and intervention for sex workers. Special attention to guidelines development and scaling up interventions.

3. Family Planning and unsafe abortion
Focus on technical and managerial aspects of contraceptive methods, addressing unsafe abortion, scaling up safe abortion/post-abortion care, gender and sexuality. Special attention to policy formulation, advocacy, decision analysis, policy dialogue, commodity security and M&E.

4. Maternal and neonatal health
Focus on technical and managerial aspects of maternity care services, skilled attendance at birth, malaria and pregnancy, neonatal interventions, addressing female genital mutilations. Special attention to critical reading of scientific papers, evidence-based interventions, strategy paper analysis and M&E.

5. Integrated sexual and reproductive health services
Focus on technical and managerial aspects of integrated SRH services/interventions for young people, linkages between programmes. Special attention to financing mechanisms, strategy paper analysis and M&E.

The community dimension, inter-sectorial collaboration and international initiatives as well as gender and human rights are cross cutting issues in all sub-modules. Application of analysis to participant’s own working context is stressed.

And two methodological sub-modules, structured around individual assignments (see details under 13. assessment procedures):

6. Project Formulation with Project Cycle Management & Logical Framework

7. Strategy Analysis
Teaching consists of interactive lectures (116 h), small group sessions followed by plenary presentations and discussions (85h), coached individual work (23h) and presentations of posters/seminars for the assignments (22h). In addition it is estimated that 160h of personal work are required for preparatory and additional reading and for the individual assignments. Exchange of experience is essential in the learning process. There is a strong emphasis on case studies prepared by staff and/or fellow students.
This advanced module is intended for health professionals and scientists involved in/or to be involved in, or responsible for reproductive health programmes.
Holders of a university degree in health sciences or a professional bachelor in nursing sciences or midwifery can apply for the course.
Candidates should have minimum 2 years of relevant experience in reproductive health programmes as the module builds on the exchange of this experience. Further pre-requisites are sufficient skills in epidemiology, statistics & research methodology (to be able to understand the evidence in scientific articles) and being acquainted with public health (to be able to reflect on the health systems perspective), at least at tropEd core course level. A Master of Public Health degree or a similar training is an asset for those who follow this course outside a Master curriculum (e.g. MPH, tropEd MIH).
The course language is either English or French. Proficiency in course language is required and must be proved by a certificate from a recognised institution (language school, British Council, TOEFL, Alliance Française, etc.)
Required level for English: TOEFL paper based 580, computer based 230, or IETLS 6.5, or previous higher academic education in English. Required level of French: level 2 of “Alliance Française” procedures.
Maximum 24 participants, including 10 to 15 participants of the ITM Master of Public Health - orientation Disease Control) and maximum 10 tropEd students.
A selection committee will evaluate all applications on a comparative basis. Main criteria are the relevance and diversity of the experience and additional post-graduate training. Additional criteria are the quality of the motivation letter, the references and future career perspectives.
Euro;4,700 (indexed each year)
Applications should reach the course administration before October 15th(forms on www.itg.be)
For all information contact the course administrator: mhilgert@itg.be
ITM can offer a number of fellowships to applicants from developing countries. Academic acceptance in the course is conditional to, but no guarantee for such scholarships. Candidates can obtain updated information about the application procedures from the course administrator. : mhilgert@itg.be
Major changes since initial accreditation:
Since 2007 joint sessions are organised with students from the ITM module on health policy to discuss policy issues such as the interaction between HIV programmes and the health system, the role HIV programmes in health systems strengthening, HIV and human rights, FP and abortion.

A new sub-module on integrated sexual and reproductive health services was created in 2009.

Over the years the emphasis on programme planning and management has increased; more in particular on 1) strategy papers analysis; 2) how to write a technical note; 3) how to conduct effective supervision; 4) monitoring and evaluation of HIV/RH programmes.

In 2012 the project formulation assignment (application of) was moved from the end to the start of the module to allow an earlier and timelier introduction of the project cycle management and logical framework methodology. In addition a new individual assignment aiming at a critical analysis of a strategy linked to a programme and context known to the students was introduced from the second week onward. To create space for the strategy analysis assignment the number of lectures was reduced and replaced by coached individual work and self study. This new assignment complements the assessment of the module’s learning objectives.
Student evaluation:
The course is evaluated through oral and written evaluations for each of the sub-modules. In addition an evaluation meeting is organised at the end of the module to discuss global aspects. The remarks are analysed with the teaching staff and adjustments of the module content, methods and teaching staff are made accordingly.
In general the module is evaluated as highly relevant to the needs of students. Both assignments are cited as most useful. What is appreciated least useful varies a lot in function of background and personal interest. The module programme is demanding but time to assimilate content and for personal work is considered sufficient by 3/4 of the students. The interactive teaching methodology and the exchange of experience with fellow participants are mostly appreciated.
Lessons learned:
From interviews with former students during an alumni meeting in Bangalore (2010) and during the ICASA meeting in Addis Ababa (2011) we learned that after the module most of them feel confident about the taught management tools & methods. Most of them mention to have applied a situation analysis, a stakeholder analysis, strategy paper analysis, a problem tree, a logical framework, monitoring indicators and evaluation frameworks. They suggest to spend more time on policy briefs and negotiation skills (done in 2012)
tropEd accreditation:
Accredited in Valencia 2001, re-accredited in Sepember 2006, prolonged until September 2012 and re-accredited in December 2012. This accreditation is valid until December 2017.
1. In this module, participants will receive an up-to-date overview of the available evidence on specific sexual and reproductive health problems, their social determinants and priority interventions. The aim is not to be exhaustive but to concentrate on current public health issues/debates. Concepts, models and tools necessary for the formulation, implementation and evaluation of sexual and reproductive health strategies are taught in an applied way.
The course focuses on both the technical (evidence-based) and management aspects of reproductive health programmes. A particular emphasis is made on a health system’s perspective and on integrated strategies, especially through case studies.

2. The HIV/AIDS sub-module is organised in common with the advanced module “Planning and Management of Tropical Diseases Control Programmes”. This means the students cannot integrate both modules in the same Master programme.
Email Address: gvheusden@itg.be
Date Of Record Creation: 2012-01-12 21:29:13 (W3C-DTF)
Date Of Record Release: 2012-01-13 03:42:23 (W3C-DTF)
Date Record Checked: 2017-07-20 (W3C-DTF)
Date Last Modified: 2017-10-10 04:42:20 (W3C-DTF)

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