Coming up in July 2014: 2nd Meeting of CHEPSAA Emerging Leaders

EL article graphic for web

The participants in the Emerging Leaders Programme (ELP) of the Consortium for Health Policy and Systems Analysis in Africa (CHEPSAA) will gather in Cape Town in the coming weeks (6-11 July 2014) for their second capacity development workshop.


This capacity development workshop will coincide with the piloting of two open-access, Master's-level courses designed by CHEPSAA: Introduction to Complex Health Systems and Introduction to Health Systems Research. The courses are being piloted as part of the Winter School Programme of the University of the Western Cape.

With its 26 participants, mostly educators and researchers from South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria, the CHEPSAA ELP is a unique initiative that seeks to contribute to building a critical mass of future leaders in the field of health policy and systems research and analysis (HPSR+A) who are committed to working in this field in Africa and equipped with the necessary skills and capabilities.

The design of this programme is underpinned by a set of key competencies developed by CHEPSAA and understood to be key for successful functioning and growth in the HPSR+A field. These competencies include health policy and systems teaching and research, personal and communication skills, and networking skills. One of the distinct features of the initiative is that it emphasises the development of "soft" skills as much as "hard" skills.

The first ELP capacity development workshop took place in July 2013 and was strongly focused on leadership, communication and interpersonal skills. The participants also used this workshop to begin their work on certain HPSR+A issues or questions that they have continued to work on for the duration of the programme.

This year, the participants' attention will very much be focused on the Introduction to Health Systems Research course, in which they will all participate. In addition, the participants will use this opportunity to catch up with each other, reflect on the experiences of the first capacity development workshop in 2013 and plan ahead for future ELP activities.

"During our participation in this course, we will focus specifically on a number of key competencies, including teaching skills, curriculum development skills and broadening and deepening our understanding of research approaches relevant to HPSR+A," said Dr Nonhlanhla Nxumalo, a participant in the ELP who has also been involved in shaping and coordinating the programme. The roles of the ELP participants will range from attending the course and reviewing certain sessions in the course to facilitation of small group discussions and plenary sessions.

The CHEPSAA ELP participants will have one more meeting in September 2014, which has been timed to link to the 3rd Global Symposium on Health Systems Research, which will take place in Cape Town from 30 September to 3 October. After their meeting, the ELP participants will attend the symposium, where they will present an organised session entitled Emerging Leaders in Health Policy & Systems Research - Assuming leadership in Health Policy & Systems Research: Personal reflections and lessons.

CHEPSAA is a European Union-funded consortium of African and European universities that seeks to increase African capacity to produce and use high-quality HPSR+A. In addition to CHEPSAA's own funding, the CHEPSAA ELP is also supported by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.