Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) provides vital information for decision-making and its structures, systems and processes are expected to be integrated throughout the life-cycle of public health programs. The acquisition of these skills should be developed in a structured manner and needs educational systems to identify core competencies in M&E teaching. This article presents our work on harmonizing M&E competencies for Masters-level programs in the South Asian context and undertaking the global review of M&E track/concentration offered in various Masters of Public Health (MPH) programs.
Through an online search and snow-balling, we mapped institutions offering M&E tracks/concentrations in Masters of Public Health (MPH) programs globally. We obtained detailed information about their M&E curriculum from university websites and brochures. The data on curricular contents was extracted and compiled. We analyzed the curricular contents using the framework for core competencies developed by the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH); and the Millers triangle. This data was then used to inform a consultative exercise aimed at identifying core competencies for an M&E track/concentration in MPH programs in the South Asian context.
Our curricular review of M&E content within MPH programs globally showed that different domains or broad topic areas relating to M&E are covered differently across the programs. The quantitative sciences (Biostatistics and Epidemiology) and Health Policy and Management are covered in much greater depth than the other two domains (Social & Behavioral Sciences and Environmental Health Sciences). The identification of core competencies for an M&E track/concentration in the South Asian context was undertaken through a consultative group exercise involving representation from 11 institutions across Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. During the consultation, the group engaged in a focused discussion to reach consensus on a set of 15 core competencies for an M&E track in South Asian MPH programs.
This work presents an opportunity for institutions to identify and re-examine their M&E competencies as a part of their specialized tracks within MPH programs. Our curricular analysis approach has the potential for adaptation and further use in curriculum analysis across different academic specialties.