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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 194-208

Does CBE Come Close To What It Should Be? A Case Study from the Developing World. Evaluating a Programme in Action Against Objectives on Paper

1 Faculties of Medicine of Diponegoro University, Semarang, Indonesia
2 Maastricht University, The Netherlands

Correspondence Address:
G D Majoor
Faculty of Medicine, Maastricht University
The Netherlands
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Context: A growing number of health professions schools have implemented programmes for community-based education (CBE) for their students. There are indications, however, that particularly in developing countries, CBE programmes are not always optimally implemented or sustained. Objective: To test the suitability of an established method for curriculum evaluation, combined with a set of generic objectives for CBE programmes, for evaluation of CBE programmes. Methods: As a case study, Coles and Grant's model for curriculum evaluation was applied to the CBE programme of the Medical Faculty of Diponegoro University (MFDU) in Semarang, Indonesia. Document analysis yielded information on the programme on paper; participatory observation and staff interviews on the programme in action. In addition, MFDU's CBE programme was evaluated against a set of generic objectives for CBE programmes recently designed by us. Results: MFDU has created great opportunities for its CBE programme in which, however, also significant weaknesses were revealed. (1) In the community, much time was spent on formal teaching; (2) Students' work in the community was not jointly identified with community members regarding the community's felt health needs; (3) There was rarely continuity, and evaluation or follow-up of the students' work in the community; and (4) No systematic programme evaluations are carried out. Discussion: This evaluation study showed shortcomings in the implementation of MFDU's CBE programme. The major weaknesses identified point at an underutilization of the opportunities and potential jeopardization of the facilities in the community. On the other hand, more time is needed in the CBE programme to establish the health needs to be addressed jointly with the community and to assess the impact of activities undertaken. A thorough review of the CBE programme, perhaps taking the outcomes of this study into account, could turn MFDU's CBE programme into a fine example for other medical schools in Indonesia and beyond. Conclusion: Coles and Grant's method for curriculum evaluation proved suitable for evaluation of a CBE programme in a developing country. After additional comparison with a reference list of objectives for CBE programmes, reasoned suggestions for programme can be made.

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