Integrated Infectious Disease Capacity-Building Evaluation (IDCAP)
An Integrated Approach to Training Midlevel Healthcare Workers in Africa
With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in 2008 Accordia launched the Integrated Infectious Disease Capacity Building Evaluation (IDCAP), a 3-year program with the goal of evaluating a cost-effective method to build capacity among mid-level health practitioners in sub-Saharan Africa for the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases. A comprehensive surveillance system of 36 health facilities and their patients are measuring the impact of a novel package of classroom training, distance learning, and on-site support services on individual competence, facility performance, and health outcomes in the surrounding communities. Accordia and its partners seek to advance the science of training evaluation, and to set a new standard for evidence in support of key policy decisions involving human resources for health.
While the primary emphasis of IDCAP is to advance the field of science and introduce scientific tools to enable the evaluation of training more broadly, we needed to develop an innovative intervention, a new approach to training that responded to widely-acknowledged needs in the field of human resources for health. With the combined expertise of Accordia, its Academic Alliance, and the project partners, IDCAP developed the Integrated Management of Infectious Disease (IMID) course, which incorporated three innovations in training: focus on mid-level health practitioners; integration across infectious disease, and on-site support.
To measure the impact of a novel intervention such as IMID, a randomized facility-based trial at 36 health facilities throughout Uganda enables evaluation of the incremental value of a particular approach to training, and IDCAP will estimate the cost-effectiveness of building this approach to capacity among mid-level health practitioners in sub-Saharan Africa for the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases. Results are expected in Spring 2012.
Accordia leads the IDCAP team in strong partnership with the Ugandan Ministry of Health, the Infectious Diseases Institute of Makerere University (IDI), University Research Corporation’s Center for Human Services (URC-CHS), and University of Washington’s International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH).