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Designing the Framework for Competency-Based Master of Public Health Programs in India

Sharma, Kavya PGHHM; Zodpey, Sanjay PhD; Gaidhane, Abhay MD; Syed, Zahiruddin Quazi MD; Kumar, Rajeev MD; Morgan, Alison PhD

Journal of Public Health Management & Practice:
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e318241da5d
Original Articles
Abstract

Competency in the practice of public health is the implicit goal of education institutions that offer master of public health (MPH) programs. With the expanding number of institutions offering courses in public health in India, it is timely to develop a common framework to ensure that graduates are proficient in critical public health. Steps such as situation assessment, survey of public health care professionals in India, and national consultation were undertaken to develop a proposed competency-based framework for MPH programs in India. The existing curricula of all 23 Indian MPH courses vary significantly in content with regard to core, concentration, and crosscutting discipline areas and course durations. The competency or learning outcome is not well defined. The findings of the survey suggest that MPH graduates in India should have competencies ranging from monitoring of health problems and epidemics in the community, applying biostatistics in public health, conducting action research, understanding social and community influence on public health developing indicators and instruments to monitor and evaluate community health programs, developing proposals, and involving community in planning, delivery, and monitoring of health programs. Competency statements were framed and mapped with domains including epidemiology, biostatistics, social and behavioral sciences, health care system, policy, planning, and financing, and environmental health sciences and a crosscutting domain that include health communication and informatics, health management and leadership, professionalism, systems thinking, and public health biology. The proposed competency-based framework for Indian MPH programs can be adapted to meet the needs of diverse, unique programs. The framework ensures the uniqueness and diversity of individual MPH programs in India while contributing to measures of overall program success.

In Brief

This article describes steps such as situation assessment, survey of public health care professionals, and national consultation undertaken to develop a proposed competency-based framework for master of public health programs in India.

Author Information

Public Health Foundation of India, New Delhi (Ms Sharma and Dr Zodpey); Department of Community Medicine, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences, Wardha, Maharashtra (Drs Gaidhane and Syed); Community Medicine, PGIMER, Chandigarh, Punjab (Dr Kumar), India; and Nossal Institute of Global Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Dr Morgan).

Correspondence: Zahiruddin Quazi Syed, MD, Department of Community Medicine, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences, Wardha 442 102, Maharashtra, India (zahirquazi@rediffmail.com).

There is no conflict of interest, and ethical adherence has been taken by the institutional ethical committee.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.