Educating leaders in hospital management: A new model in Sub-Saharan Africa

Sosena Kebede, Yigeremu Abebe, Mirkuzie Wolde, Biftu Bekele, Jeannie Mantopoulos, Elizabeth H. Bradley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Quality issue: The vast majority of health system capacity-building efforts have focused on enhancing medical and public health skills; less attention has been directed at developing hospital managers despite their central role in improving the functioning and quality of health-care systems. Initial assessment and choice of intervention: Initial assessment of hospital management systems demonstrated weak functioning in several management areas. In response, we developed with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health (MoH) a novel Master of Hospital Administration (MHA) program, reflecting a collaborative effort of the MoH, the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative, Jimma University and Yale University. The MHA is a 2-year executive style educational program to develop a new cadre of hospital leaders, comprising 5% classroom learning and 85% executive practice. Implementation: The MHA has been implemented with 55 hospital leaders in the position of chief executive officer within the MoH, with courses taught in collaboration by faculty of the North and the South universities. Evaluation and lessons learned: The program has enrolled two cohorts of hospital leaders and is working in more than half of the government hospitals in Ethiopia. Lessons learned include the need to: (i) balance education in applied, technical skills with more abstract thinking and problem solving, (ii) recognize the interplay between management education and policy reform, (iii) remain flexible as policy changes have direct impact on the project, (iv) be realistic about resource constraints in low-income settings, particularly information technology limitations, and (v) manage the transfer of knowledge for longer term sustainability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-43
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal for Quality in Health Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Africa
  • Ethiopia
  • Hospital management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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