Strengthening responses to the HIV/AIDS pandemic: an internal evaluation of the Caribbean Health Leadership Institute.Educ Health (Abingdon). 2012 Jul;25(1):24-32
Authors: Umble K, Bain B, Ruddock-Small M, Mahanna E, Baker EL
BACKGROUND: Leadership development is a strategy for improving national responses to HIV/AIDS. The University of the West Indies offers the Caribbean Health Leadership Institute (CHLI) to enhance leaders' effectiveness and responses to HIV/AIDS through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CHLI enrolls leaders in annual cohorts numbering 20-40.
OBJECTIVES: To examine how CHLI influenced graduates' self-understanding, skills, approaches, vision, commitments, courage, confidence, networks, and contributions to program, organizational, policy, and systems improvements. Methods: Web-based surveys and interviews of graduates.
RESULTS: CHLI increased graduates' self-understanding and skills and strengthened many graduates' vision, confidence, and commitments to improving systems. It helped graduates improve programs, policies, and systems by: motivating them and giving them ideas for changes to pursue, encouraging them to share their vision, deepening skills in areas such as systems thinking, policy advocacy, and communication, strengthening their inclusion of partners and team members, and influencing how they interacted with others. Training both HIV-focused and general health leaders can help both kinds of leaders foster improvements in HIV services and policies.
DISCUSSION: Learners greatly valued self-assessments, highly interactive sessions, and the opportunity to build a network of professional colleagues. Projects provided opportunities to address substantive issues and immediately apply learning to work. Leadership development evaluations in the United States have also emphasized the complementary benefits of assessment and feedback, skills development, and network development. Global leadership programs should find ways to combine these components in both traditional face-to-face and distance-learning contexts.