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Bioethics training programmes for Africa: evaluating professional and bioethics-related achievements of African trainees after a decade of Fogarty NIH investment
  1. Nancy E Kass1,2,
  2. Joseph Ali1,
  3. Kristina Hallez1,
  4. Adnan A Hyder1,2
  1. 1Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  2. 2Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to
    Dr Nancy E Kass; nkass{at}


Objectives Our primary aim was to evaluate the impact of US National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded bioethics training programmes (Fogarty bioethics training programmes, FBTPs) that trained individuals from Africa over the programme's first 10 years to examine changes between pretraining and post-training in individual achievement and to document any associations between individual, training programme and post-training accomplishments.

Design We surveyed trainees from the 10 bioethics programmes funded by NIH Fogarty International Center from 2000 to 2011 that included African trainees. McNemar's and Wilcoxon signed rank-sum tests were used to analyse pre–post levels of general and bioethics-related professional achievement. Likelihood of specific post-training achievement outcomes was measured using logistic regression including demographic, pretraining and intratraining variables.

Setting 10 different FBTPs that trained individuals from Africa from 2000 to 2011.

Participants Of 253 eligible respondents, 171 completed the survey (response rate 67.6%).

Primary outcome measures Pre–post comparisons of professional achievement indicators (eg, serving in leadership roles, teaching, publishing manuscripts); likelihood of specific post-training achievement outcomes.

Results Post-training, respondents were significantly more likely to report serving in a leadership role, being an investigator on a research grant, serving on international committees, serving as a mentor, and publishing manuscripts than at pretraining. Post-training, significantly greater numbers of respondents reported bioethics-related achievements including being a bioethics instructor, serving on an Institutional Review Board (IRB), being an investigator on a bioethics grant and publishing bioethics-related manuscripts than pretraining. Controlling for other factors, there were no significant differences by gender in the post-training success of these participants in terms of leadership roles, being instructors, investigators on grants and holding IRB roles.

Conclusions African trainees who participated in FBTPs reported significantly higher levels of professional achievement after training. There was no single factor—either demographic, related to a trainee's professional background, or in programme design—that consistently predicted greater levels of post-training achievement.

  • evaluation
  • bioethics
  • research ethics
  • training
  • capacity development
  • Africa

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