3. Piloting an implementation protocol delivered as an online course: African leadership in addiction workforce development
One of the key mandates of ICUDDR is the transfer and adaptation of science-based knowledge regarding prevention and treatment of substance use disorders through the development of university-based drug demand reduction (DDR) academic programs.
Faculty from African universities informally expressed a need for capacity building in development of such DDR academic programs. In response to this, through a collaborative effort between ICUDDR and the African regional leadership, a formal needs assessment was carried out that identified specific areas of need. This was followed by the designing of a course outline targeting these specific areas. Experts from the region were then sourced to develop a practical course (named ‘Developing university based drug demand reduction academic programs: A practical guide’) as well as concurrently pilot the newly developed course.
The process is being successfully undertaken with consistent participation of 6 African countries (Nigeria, South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, Kenya, and Uganda) in the piloting and is anticipated to be completed in March 2022.
It is hoped that once the piloting and reviewing processes are done, the course will be disseminated to the rest of the universities in Africa and to other interested regions of the world as a way of building capacity for adaptation and implementation of evidence based knowledge into university based academic programs.