– Historically, the impact of many health professional training initiatives in low-income countries has been limited by narrow focus on a small set of diseases, inefficient utilization of donor funding, inadequate scale up, insufficient emphasis on the acquisition of practical skills, poor alignment with local priorities, and lack of coordination.
– Fortunately, several innovative training initiatives have emerged over the past five years in sub-Saharan Africa. This articles focuses on four initiatives funded by the United States government: the Medical Education Training Partnership Initiative (MEPI), the Nursing Training Partnership Initiative (NEPI), the Rwanda Human Resources for Health Program (HRH Program), and the Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP).
– The best practices adopted by these initiatives are: alignment to local priorities, country ownership, competency-based training, institutional capacity building, and the establishment of long-lasting partnerships with international stakeholders.
– Based on these best practices, we outline a framework for health professional training initiatives that can help better address the health workforce shortage in low-income countries.