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Academic Partnerships to Improve Health Frank J. Anderson MD MPH

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Presentation on theme: "Academic Partnerships to Improve Health Frank J. Anderson MD MPH"— Presentation transcript:

1 Academic Partnerships to Improve Health Frank J. Anderson MD MPH

2 Partnerships with Projects As opposed to projects with partnerships





7 MDG 5 Target 5.A: Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio 5.1 Maternal mortality ratio 5.2 Proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel


9 Ghana Postgraduate Training Program in Obstetrics and Gynecology Established in 1989 with a grant from the Carnegie foundation due to the very low repatriation rate of trainees sent abroad Partnership program with RCOG, ACOG, Ghana Ministry of Health and University departments of OBGYN Two Locations- –Korle Bu teaching hospital Accra (KBTH) –Komfo Anokye teaching hospital Kumasi (KATH) Klufio et al American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 189:3 2003

10 Program Outcomes As of Summer 2011, 85 specialists have completed the program and been certified by WACS or GCPS, and 83 have remained in country >50 peer reviewed research articles have been published Two major textbooks –Comprehensive Obstetrics in the Tropics –Comprehensive Gynecology in the Tropics Chairs of both OB GYN programs are graduates of the program as is the Dean at KNUST

11 Cumulative number/year retained graduates

12 Program Outcomes Multiple clinical and public health projects –Graduates have opened new clinics improving access to care and employing more nurses –Graduates have trained countless paraprofessionals –Graduates have helped develop and implement trainings in maternal care, family planning, HIV/AIDS, cervical cancer prevention

13 Factors related to retention In October 2002, we interviewed 19/26 of the graduates A “graduate” –completed the assigned coursework, rotations and other requirements of the GPTP in Obstetrics and Gynecology –passed all the targeted qualifying exams of the West African College of Surgeons qualifying for Fellowship

14 Three major factors related to retention emerged Presence of a Program Economic feasibility of staying Social commitment


16 The Ghana-Michigan Collaborative Health Alliance for Reshaping Training, Education Research (Ghana-Michigan CHARTER) 2-yr grant from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation GOAL: To strengthen training & deployment of human resources for health (HRH) in Ghana Partners: University of Michigan Ghanaian Ministry of Health University of Ghana Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology


18 Objective 1. Develop a Charter for Collaboration: Identify and document principles of collaboration between Michigan and Ghanaian partners that will guide our interactions “Right Brain” part of the project The critical milestone for this objective is approval of a charter addressing principles of communication, compensation, research and educational collaboration

19 Past Programs “Development Aid” is often delivered through vertical programs Priorities are oftentimes set by the Donor Programs are time limited Capacity building may be limited or short lived Sustainability may not be ensured

20 Some reasons for failure - 1 Lack of institutional involvement –?reflective of strategic plan Poor leadership/wrong leadership –Appropriate skills and authority Poor management structure, chain of command Lack of a proper work plan Loss of interest – not a priority “Unequal” interest in collaboration – agreeing to partner for fear of losing an opportunity Peter Donkor Ghana-Michigan Charter kickoff Meeting February 2009

21 Some reasons for failure - 2 Inadequate resources –inadequate compensation Inequity in the sharing of “spoils” Lack of transparency Feelings of exploitation Unrealistic expectations Unequal partnerships Authorship conflicts Failed communication/inadequate information Peter Donkor Ghana-Michigan Charter kickoff Meeting February 2009

22 More reasons for failure Misunderstanding of goals Misunderstanding of processes –Admission requirements into programmes Change of rules mid-stream Local laws on expenditure –Procurement laws in Ghana on expenditure –Delays in execution of contracts Peter Donkor Ghana-Michigan Charter kickoff Meeting February 2009

23 Why G-M Charter? Ghana –Typically has a long shopping list of needs –Manpower, infrastructure, etc, everything!! –Poverty mindset has turned us into beggars who are afraid to ask questions and advance our self- interest Michigan –?Global reach –?Altruism –?Philanthropy –?Collaborate or perish, promotion, job security Peter Donkor Ghana-Michigan Charter kickoff Meeting February 2009

24 What makes this Grant different? This is a learning grant – time to learn –Everyone is starting from the ground up Stems from a long standing relationship Future funding possible –Form follows funding? – OLD –Form follows country priorities and capabilities

25 Purpose of the Charter process Encourage open dialogue among partners to –ensure that Ghanaian priorities have been clearly identified –policies and procedures underpinning collaboration have been considered. –Mechanisms of communication, such as websites and newsletters will be established. Develop overarching principles –provides clarity and transparency so that the group may go forward in programmatic and research collaborations with issues of participation, compensation and authorship addressed. Guide the implementation of pilot projects and proposal development in the learning grant, –ensure that a broad, sustainable capacity building approach is emerging from the process.








33 The Charter Document Adoption of the charter mark the beginning of a contemporary model for collaboration The charter will be a “living document” and will include the processes for institutional commitment, faculty involvement and progression, communication, faculty support, mechanisms for the approving and expanding the charter

34 The emphasis on the “Charter document” in the Ghana-Michigan Charter differentiates it from partnership grants that rely solely on technical interventions as the basis of combined work.

35 Creating a process for the creation of a “Charter Document” as the background of the project creates a platform for any number of technical interventions and so thus makes this work applicable across campus and across disciplines

36 Addressing consciously the ramifications of inherent and overlooked inequities is the first step in creating an authentic collaborative international team that begins to capitalize on diversity and move into a new era of partnership based on a new paradigm for planning projects in an ever increasingly interconnected world.

37 Observing the Process A team of US and Ghanaian Social Scientist invited to observe Interviews with investigators and participants on both sides one year into the project

38 Quotes “We in Ghana have started communicating with each other far better than we ever did.” It’s like, we’re not even there. “I always felt like it was hard for me to go over to the medical school at the University of Ghana. But now, – I can just all him up, I go to his office, we have conversations. But until this project we never did that”. “I would like to say that this collaboration has been very useful for having brought the ministry and the major teaching institutions together. As others have said, it is something that we should use in future collaborations because ordinarily we are miles apart. So I think that has worked – the fact that we have come together in this institution. And I think that also for me the commitment of the Michigan people and the way you are focused on your objectives” “but from the get-go I had the sense of well-established trust, and that, come hell or high water, we were going to work together in a positive way. “

39 Quotes “ it is not something dictated by one person. It was developed going back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. So it is – it’s just assured us of what we all have wanted. So, I would say it’s made things easy in the sense that everybody knows that this is what we are, using to guide our partnership.” “Yes, it is true that maybe in terms of resources, Party B has more physical or material, financial resources. But the other one may have some other form of resources in terms of even the raw material to work with. So I know we gain, together we also gain. So I think it is a win-win situation. Yes. Right.” “It’s not unusual for institutions in developed countries to – I mean, to put it very bluntly – to have a colonialist mentality, you know, when it comes to these collaborations. But I think that is not the case as far as this collaboration is concerned.”

40 Quotes “laying out on the table explicit issues has been incredibly valuable and I would never want to give the impression that—that that was anything less than critical because I think that’s been a—an—an incredible outcome of this grant is having an explicit charter for how we’re supp—how we would ideally collaborate.” “I think it made it easier, because I think we’d agreed on certain principles that everybody was comfortable, and they were principles like our liberality and transparency and openness and honesty and kind of fundamental principles. And so I think that we’ve used it over and over as a touchstone, and so I think it’s been continuously useful. I mean to have something to quote that we could use with other groups. I mean, we’re starting to talk in the United States and in a variety of venues about this project. “ “ I think it’s become kind of this original declaration that’s kind of useful for us to go back to”

41 Quotes “I think that the fact that developing a charter is something – I guess I didn’t really think that developing a charter for collaboration was going to be as successful as it’s been, so I’m surprised with that. But I guess the lesson that you have to learn to be open to kind different ways of thinking about things. And I think I’ve always been open to that kind of stuff.” “but I think at least kind of crystallizing the charter for collaboration has been very helpful in thinking about – in really thinking about – what these kinds of partnerships should look like.”

42 Summary The Ghana-Michigan health partnership started with Obstetrics and Gynecology around a development goal Lessons from the partnership led to the CHARTER project and development of a Charter for Collaboration Now, multiple departments work in a number of projects to improve health partly defined by “Charter Principles”

43 Summary (fruit salad, not fruit punch) Institutional ownership of collaboration Complete understanding of the expectations of all partners Determination to ensure that everyone is a winner The question that must always be asked: “What is in it for me or my institution?” The surest way to achieve an enduring and successful collaboration is by ensuring that while you pursue your interests, you also look after the interests of the other partner. Peter Donkor Ghana-Michigan Charter kickoff Meeting February 2009

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