CGI Partnership Lays the Foundation for an Integrated eLearning Framework in Kenya


Participants at a CGI eLearning training in Nairobi

Next week, IntraHealth International’s president and CEO, Pape Gaye, will join public and private sector leaders from all over the world in New York at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting on the theme of mobilizing for impact.

In 2012, IntraHealth and our CGI partners committed to using locally designed technology to develop the next generation of computer- and mobile-based learning (e/mLearning) for Kenya’s frontline health workers. The IntraHealth-led consortium launched the commitment in November 2012 in Nairobi—a rising economic growth and innovation center for the East Africa region—with partners and senior government officials from the Ministry of Health. The Government of Kenya’s commitment to national infrastructure and private sector development has paved the way for the health sector to benefit from a rich and diverse commercial sector. Over the past year, the partnership developed two eLearning programs and also leveraged the collective capacity of the consortium to establish the foundation for an integrated eLearning framework for Kenya’s health sector.

The effective design and delivery of high quality eLearning content can reach exponentially more health workers than traditional training and at a fraction of the cost. Training more health workers and training them closer to their places of work promises to give more Kenyans access to high-quality health care based on up-to-date standards of practice while also freeing up health sector resources.

Many e/mLearning initiatives exist in Kenya, but they are ad hoc, and most are not officially recognized or accredited by the government. Early in the partnership, members realized that contributing new programs to the existing e/mLearning landscape—without taking into consideration how the programs fit into Kenya’s broader health education and training systems and the capacity of training institutions to update, produce, and maintain them—would be a mistake.

The CGI consortium has the membership and expertise to bridge the promise of e/mLearning with a sustainable reality and has developed a framework for aligning stakeholders and their activities into a unified effort. The consortium is working with the Government of Kenya to strengthen the regulatory environment for e/mLearning and working with partners to select technologies and strategies that will address common barriers to using e/mLearning effectively, such as the limited capacity of training institutions in eLearning methods and technologies, and lack of coordination across government  and regulatory bodies. 

Simply working with partners and discussing how their unique perspectives—whether in technology, funding, policy, or content—fit into a larger e/mLearning effort gets everyone asking the right questions and seeking out the right stakeholders early in the process.

IntraHealth and partners are now working through and with a network of eight regional training institutions across Kenya to enhance access to technology-assisted training programs. IntraHealth has an ongoing partnership with these institutions, which allows us to leverage existing relationships and content.

Highlights from the year include:

  • IntraHealth worked with Kenya’s Mission for Essential Drugs and Supplies (MEDS) to develop commodities-management eLearning courses and offer them through the Intel Skoool platform. Through the course, health workers learn how to accurately project and budget for the medicines their communities need. The courses also help participants prevent overstocking—which can lead to expired supplies and waste—by establishing appropriate stock holding levels. And the online format allows workers to get the training they need without necessarily leaving their places of work.
  • IntraHealth, the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF), the Ministry of Health, and iHub collaborated to convert and deliver e-induction courses to newly hired health workers. These courses orient new workers to the health sector and to Kenya’s newly devolved government structure. 
  • IntraHealth and AMREF trained 30 eLearning content developers from mid-level colleges and universities in Kenya. The content developers have begun converting courses in their respective training institutions into eLearning modules.
  • IntraHealth and Avallain are working closely with the Kenya National AIDS & STI Control Programme (NASCOP) to develop eLearning modules for Kenya’s new HIV harmonized curriculum.  

By bringing together technologists, training institutions, donors, regulatory bodies, and the Ministry of Health, several burgeoning ideas were halted and reworked when it became clear that a platform didn’t yet have the functionality to make it compliant with health sector regulations, or when the content wasn’t aligned with national health priorities. Rather than wasting resources on products that ultimately would not succeed at scale, the CGI consortium worked together to assess and reframe ideas at the early stages.

In the coming year, the partners look forward to developing accreditation guidelines for e/mLearning and continuing to bridge the promise of e/mLearning with a reality that opens up technology, training, and content to health workers on the front lines of care in Kenya.

IntraHealth’s CGI partners include Kenya’s Ministry of Health, MEDS, Intel, iHub, Safaricom, Avallain, and MedicMobile.

Learn more about our Clinton Global Initiative Commitment