Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS)

The Importance of Working with Academia

In order to comprehensively strengthen capacity on social and behavior change communication (SBCC) in Tanzania, the Tanzania Capacity and Communication Project (TCCP) incorporated a collaboration with the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) into its overall capacity strengthening approach. The goal of TCCP’s collaboration with MUHAS was to strengthen the sustainable system for building the field of SBCC professionals in Tanzania. To achieve this, TCCP supported MUHAS in strengthening its SBCC-related graduate programs. 

Assessing MUHAS's Needs

TCCP conducted a capacity assessment with MUHAS in August 2012 to determine the areas in which TCCP could best support MUHAS. Areas of technical support that TCCP offered to MUHAS based on the assessment included: facilitation and training of trainers in the context of a new curricula behavior change-related curricula; visiting faculty and researchers to provide seminars on teaching methods and student practicum supervision; and delivery of a seminar on supportive supervision and building skills for facilitated self-assessment. TCCP additionally sponsored Paulina Nahato, a lecturer at MUHAS, to attend a workshop on Leadership in Strategic Health Communication given by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs in Nigeria.

Developing a Comprehensive Academic Program

MUHAS is a strong academic leader in the area of behavior change and behavior change communication in Tanzania. The university boasts two Masters degrees on these subjects, respectively (Masters in Behavior Change [MScBC] and Masters in Behavior Change Communication [MScBCC]). TCCP supported MUHAS in the development of these programs in various ways. TCCP reviewed the curricula for these two degrees, with a special focus on the course related to behavior change communication, which MUHAS has offered since the end of 2012. Additionally, TCCP assisted MUHAS with the delivery of several modules in various courses related to behavior change communication, including the Health Promotion aspects of the Masters in Public Health (MPH) program. Finally, TCCP also helped MUHAS develop a short course in Strategic Communication for Behavior Change. 

Supporting Faculty in Continued LearningDr. Doug Storey of Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs in Baltimore presents a lecture to MUHAS faculty.

Another important component of TCCP’s support to MUHAS has been a lecture series given by CCP experts to MUHAS faculty. MUHAS faculty specifically requested this initiative in an effort to enhance their continuing education. The first seminar was given in August 2011, by CCP’s Dr. Ben Lozare, who delivered a faculty seminar on the State of the Art in Leadership in Health Communication, with over 40 faculty members in attendance. He did a follow up seminar in Feb 2014. Dr. Doug Storey delivered a faculty seminar on impact evaluation and causal attribution in November 2012 with approximately 30 faculty members in attendance, and a follow-up seminar in August 2014. TCCP also provided a faculty seminar on translating research findings into policy briefs in Oct. 2013.