Managing national and international priorities: A framework for low-income countries
Kasthala, Sarath Burgis
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Kasthala, S., Kamiza, S. & Bates, I. (2012) Managing national and international priorities: A framework for low-income countries, Medical Education, vol. 46, , pp. 748-756,
Capacity-building programmes in low-income countries (LICs) are subject to a tension between the requirement to best train workers to fulfil national needs and the requirement to meet international expectations of their students, academics and institutions. This paper presents a theoretical framework developed from a case study of an undergraduate degree programme in Malawi and explores how national needs and international expectations can be managed in health profession settings in LICs to ensure successful curriculum development. Methods An inductive qualitative methodology, grounded theory, combined with open-ended interviews with students, graduates, tutors and external stakeholders in the programme, was used to develop a theoretical framework. Results A total of 22 interviews were performed; their analysis conceptualised the tension between national needs and international expectations, and resulted in 12 codes, in four categories: competing and advancing agendas; processes of collaboration; developing a programme or professional identity, and perceptions of programme change. Conclusions This study describes a conceptual framework highlighting three particular areas for analysis to aid in understanding how to best manage competing agendas. These areas refer to, respectively, the significance of international expectations, the organisational climate, and the development of a professional identity. Discuss ideas arising from this article at '' Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2012.