The Institution: Management and Infrastructure
This section focuses on the institution, which delivers and supports pre-service education. Issues related to institutional management and infrastructure, including selection criteria, physical and organizational structure, management and logistics, and financing are discussed.
Organization and Administration
Strengthen institutional governance, including administration and any representative boards or committees (e.g., curriculum, research) that ensure educational programs are updated and adapted to national needs. This process might also include relationships with professional councils. Most educational standards include a section for administration or governance. Refer to the appropriate cadre’s educational standards on governance or administration for practical guidance.
Infrastructure and Resources
Address basic physical and organizational structures needed for implementing educational programs. Infrastructure issues are essential to improve the quality of graduates (Mullan, et al. 2010). Basic requirements for quality education include adequate buildings, equipment, supplies, and access to sufficient resources. Construction, repair, and maintenance of buildings, laboratories, and field sites, as well as provision of adequate learning materials, all need to be addressed (WHO 2006). Student and faculty housing must be safe and acceptable. Transportation to clinical sites for both students and faculty should be available. Leverage program funds or public-private partnerships to address infrastructure improvement.
Use information and communication technologies to support the educational process and institution staff. Using information and communication technologies (ICT) can expand formal access to education, increase access to free online resources (Frenk and Chen, et al. 2010), and may improve efficiency and effectiveness in learning and teaching. Increasing ICT use also is recommended to provide means for faculty development (Crisp, Gawanas and Sharp 2008, Dal Poz, et al. 2009). Practical approaches for using learning technology may include: developing local area networks, strengthening local ICT support, and facilitating faculty and preceptors to learn, collaborate, and create learning materials. Faculty should be able to use the internet effectively to access information and continue life-long learning. At the minimum, ensure faculty have mastered basic computer skills, have sufficient infrastructure, and can use technology and multimedia effectively in learning. The Multimedia for Learning Workshop has been used to develop these skills in faculty in several countries.
Address Other Infrastructure Areas
Texts, learning materials, equipment, etc. Students need access to open source learning materials and to study areas and libraries during non-class hours. Budgets should include computers, support for an information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure, materials and supplies for skill or simulation labs.
Financing. Before beginning expansion or scaling up, a system for ongoing monitoring of resources must be ready. Helping key stakeholders understand the link between existing resources and additional need for expansion will facilitate maintaining quality during the process.