Understanding faculty development as capacity development: A case study from South Africa

J Frantz, D Murdoch-Eaton, M Marshall, A Rhoda, John Sandars, V Burch

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    Background: Faculty development programmes for health professional educators focus on capacity building that may not recognise the pre-existing skills and knowledge of participants. A shift to capacity development that recognises the individual and collective skills and knowledge of faculty is needed. Objectives: This study aimed to explore the contribution an African faculty development programme made to the professional and personal development of faculty, teaching in the programme and the contribution of the programme to the wider health professions education community of practice in Africa. Method: A qualitative, exploratory design using a convenience sample of 15 faculty members of the sub-Saharan Africa FAIMER Regional Institute (SAFRI) faculty development programme was recruited to the study. Each participant’s SAFRI journey was explored through an in-depth interview and data were thematically analysed. Ethical approval was obtained for the study. Results A model of faculty development for individual and collective capacity development was derived from five emergent themes: personal and professional development, collaborative practice, networking, research and scholarship and support. Conclusion Faculty development initiatives may result in capacity development which extends beyond individual participants to include a wider community of practice. This expanded understanding is best articulated by the African term “Ubuntu”, meaning “I am because you are.”
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)53-56
    JournalAfrican Journal of Health Professions Education
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2019


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