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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 116-126

The training for health equity network evaluation framework: A pilot study at five health professional schools

1 School of Medicine and Dentistry, Anton Breinl Research Centre for Health Systems Strengthening, James Cook University, Australia; Training for Health Equity Network, Belgium
2 School of Medicine and Dentistry, Anton Breinl Research Centre for Health Systems Strengthening, James Cook University, Australia
3 Flinders University School of Medicine, Australia
4 Division of Medical Education, Dalhousie University, Canada (Formerly of Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Canada)
5 Ateneo de Zamboanga School of Medicine, Philippines
6 University of the Philippines Manila - School of Health Sciences, Philippines
7 Training for Health Equity Network, Belgium

Correspondence Address:
Simone J Ross
MDR, Lecturer, School of Medicine and Dentistry, James Cook University, Townsville QLD 4811, Australia

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Source of Support: The work reported in this paper was funded by Atlantic Charities Trust and the support of the Arcadia Foundation received through the Build Project 501(c3.)., Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.143727

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Background: The Training for Health Equity Network (THEnet), a group of diverse health professional schools aspiring toward social accountability, developed and pilot tested a comprehensive evaluation framework to assess progress toward socially accountable health professions education. The evaluation framework provides criteria for schools to assess their level of social accountability within their organization and planning; education, research and service delivery; and the direct and indirect impacts of the school and its graduates, on the community and health system. This paper describes the pilot implementation of testing the evaluation framework across five THEnet schools, and examines whether the evaluation framework was practical and feasible across contexts for the purposes of critical reflection and continuous improvement in terms of progress towards social accountability. Methods: In this pilot study, schools utilized the evaluation framework using a mixed method approach of data collection comprising of workshops, qualitative interviews and focus group discussions, document review and collation and analysis of existing quantitative data. Results: The evaluation framework allowed each school to contextually gather evidence on how it was meeting the aspirational goals of social accountability across a range of school activities, and to identify strengths and areas for improvement and development. Discussion: The evaluation framework pilot study demonstrated how social accountability can be assessed through a critically reflective and comprehensive process. As social accountability focuses on the relationship between health professions schools and health system and health population outcomes, each school was able to demonstrate to students, health professionals, governments, accrediting bodies, communities and other stakeholders how current and future health care needs of populations are addressed in terms of education, research, and service learning.

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