Strengthening individual capacity in monitoring and evaluation of malaria control programmes to streamline M&E systems and enhance information use in malaria endemic countries
Garley, A.; Eckert, E.; Sie, A.; Ye, M.; Malm, K.; Afari, E.A.; Sawadogo, M.; Herrera, S.; Ivanovich, E.; Ye, Y.
Malaria Journal 15(1): 300
Malaria control interventions in most endemic countries have intensified in recent years and so there is a need for a robust monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system to measure progress and achievements. Providing programme and M&E officers with the appropriate skills is a way to strengthen malaria's M&E systems and enhance information use for programmes' implementation. This paper describes a recent effort in capacity strengthening for malaria M&E in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). From 2010 to 2014, capacity-strengthening efforts consisted of organizing regional in-person workshops for M&E of malaria programmes for Anglophone and Francophone countries in SSA in collaboration with partners from Ghana and Burkina Faso. Open-sourced online courses were also available in English. A post-workshop assessment was conducted after 5 years to assess the effects of these regional workshops and identify gaps in capacity. The regional workshops trained 181 participants from 28 countries from 2010 to 2014. Trained participants were from ministries of health, national malaria control and elimination programmes, non-governmental organizations, and development partners. The average score (%) for participants' knowledge tests increased from pretest to posttest for Anglophone workshops (2011: 59 vs. 76, 2012: 41 vs. 63, 2013: 51 vs. 73; 2014: 50 vs. 74). Similarly, Francophone workshop posttest scores increased, but were lower than Anglophone due to higher scores at pretest. (2011: 70 vs. 76, 2012: 74 vs. 79, 2013: 61 vs. 68; 2014: 64 vs. 75). Results of the post-workshop assessment revealed that participants retained practical M&E knowledge and skills for malaria programs, but there is a need for a module on malaria surveillance adapted to the pre-elimination context. The workshops were successful because of the curriculum content, facilitation quality, and the engagement of partner institutions with training expertise. Results from the post-workshop assessment will guide the curriculum's development and restructuring for the next phase of workshops. Country-specific malaria M&E capacity needs assessments may also inform this process as countries reduce malaria burden.