The Challenge of Partnership Working at Home and Abroad

The Challenge of Partnership Working at Home and Abroad

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University of Aberdeen work-based projects in 2015/16

Chritiana Ekezie with Public Health, NHS Grampian
investigated the prevalence of depression in people living with HIV/AIDS in Sub- Saharan Africa. She developed a protocol to carry out a systematic review and had it accepted by the International Prospective Register of Systematic Review. She then went on to carry out the Systematic Review for her Master’s Project.

Sharon Mokua with Aberdeenshire Council
in Peterhead carried out a literature search to find a method to empower “hardto reach” groups in rural Aberdeenshire, to help the Council engage with their young people, adults with disabilities and immigrants working in the area.

Chloe Brooks worked with Naretu Girls and Women Empowerment Programme in Kenya
to find out about the issues involved with female genital cutting and then assessed the action being taken by Councils in Scotland, to protect girls living in Scotland from harmful, cultural practices. Deena Tissera with the Politics of Health Group used case studies from well known health-related campaign groups and charities to investigate the most efective means of using Social Media to capture a global audience.

BACKGROUND
The MSc Global Health and Management programme has developed an innovative, curriculum based opportunity to allow students to develop work relevant skills and experience in the Global Health context.

Across semesters 1 and 2, students have access to two modules: Semester 1, Mandatory 0-credit ‘Introduction to Global Health’

• Introduction to global health and global citizenship through social media and digital technology
• Developing their online identity and career planning Semester 2, Elective 15-credit ‘Work-based projects’
• Competitive application process by CV and cover letter
• Placement carried out with an external organisation— on site or in Aberdeen. The placement is student directed under the guidance of a supervisor from the University and the organisation Assessment: Reflective Diary (30%), Placement Output (70%)

EMPLOYER EXPERIENCE
PUBLIC HEALTH, NHS GRAMPIAN.

Organisations are positive about the placements and want to stay involved :- Naretu Girls and Women Empowerment Programme, Kenya and Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit, South Africa have taken a student every year since the course started.

“The work-based projects provided the student the opportunity to gain practical experience and skills associated with research and employability, whilst contributing to our work.”

STUDENT FEEDBACK

With a competitive application process, students can be matched to specific organisations.

“Having career goals in health politics, I was incredibly excited to undertake my placement with the Politics of Health Group and gained an understanding of the power of social media”

Skills gained: “people skills as I liaised with people in South Africa and Aberdeen”

“understanding the challenges of forming partnerships between organisations based in different countries”

“time management— juggling work on the placement while attending other courses”


LESSONS LEARNED
• Mutual benefit obtained if care is taken to understand and balance the students’ and organisations’ needs and expectations
• Flexibility is required to account for diverse organisations
• Placement output is agreed by the organisation and University to suit the task the student will undertake eg Developing a web site; Writing a project protocol; Data analyses and reporting
• Financial support to allow students to spend time with the external organisation appears to confer maximum benefits
• Often, placements lead on to student projects, allowing students to extend networks within the organisation and to carry out projects they have developed and feel ownership of.

This case study was taken from Making the Most of Masters report. See makingthemostofmasters.ac.uk for more information.

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