Yesterday FHSS graduate Dr. Shaqaieq Ashrafi Dost heard from Razi International Medical Journal the the paper from her Ph.D. study had been accepted for publication. Her paper ‘Management capacity in the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) Afghanistan: Political and socio-cultural issues’ is based on a mixed-methods case-study was conducted with staff at the Afghan Ministry of Public Health. The Ph.D. study explores MoPH’s management capacity. Interviews were conducted with 12 senior staff and qualitative data were analysed thematically. A quantitative survey, covering directors of 30 departments, was analysed using descriptive statistics.
The paper reports that management capacity was generally weak. Key appointments including directors were subject to political interference and many directors appointed by politicians lacked the skills to manage well. Consequently, those directors were not able to support employees appropriately or to create a healthy work environment. The respondents reported that there were strong socio-cultural influences such as nepotism and favouritism. Often employees believed they were not treated consistently or fairly. This was compounded by overly complex administrative systems. The authors concluded that the Afghan government needs to appoint competent and committed staff who can recognize/address the gaps in the functioning of the Ministry, especially the negative political and socio-cultural practices that undermine effectiveness.The reader needs to bear in mind that this Ph.D. study was conducted prior to the 2021 takeover by the Taliban. Putting the paper’s conclusion in perspective.
Razi International Medical Journal founded in 2021 is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal from Afghanistan that aims to impact public health and global health and distributed internationally. The journal is Open Access and published in electronic and paper-based format twice a year, and there is no article publishing charge (APCs).
Congratulations to Dr. Rachel Arnold on the publication of her fourth PhD paper. Today the Journal of Asian Midwives informed us that the paper ‘Hidden Relationships: Perspectives on Leadership and Management in Afghan Maternity Services – An Ethnographic Exploration‘ has been published today . Earlier papers have been published in BJOG, Social Science & Medicine as well as BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth [2-4]. The paper discusses the improvement of the quality of healthcare, particularly in low-income countries, which often focuses on the performance of healthcare providers and the availability, acceptability, and uptake of services. The role that health service leaders play in facilitating effective care has received less attention in the literature. This ethnographic study explored the perspectives of Afghan maternity care providers, managers and other stakeholders on leadership and the provision of quality maternity care.
The results of this study involves 1. Healthcare providers who described their managers as both autocratic and weak. They explained that their managers failed to enforce standards or listen to their concerns. 2. Managers who felt powerless to improve
care because the government did not support their initiatives to reform the working environment or discipline staff members who were flouting the rules.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
- Arnold, R, vanTeijlingen, E, Ryan, K, & Holloway, I. (2022) Hidden Relationships: Perspectives on Leadership and Management in Afghan Maternity Services – An Ethnographic Exploration. Journal of Asian Midwives. 9(1):45–55.
- Arnold, R., van Teijlingen, E., Ryan, K., Holloway, I. (2019) Villains or victims? An ethnography of Afghan maternity staff and the challenge of high quality respectful care, BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 19 :307 https://rdcu.be/bPqlj
- Arnold R., van Teijlingen E, Ryan K., Holloway I. (2015) Understanding Afghan health care providers: Qualitative study of culture of care in Kabul maternity hospital, BJOG 122: 260-267.
- Arnold, R., van Teijlingen, E., Ryan, K., Holloway, I. (2018) Parallel worlds: an ethnography of care in an Afghan maternity hospital, Social Science & Medicine 126:33-40.
BU professor Edwin van Teijlingen from the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perianal Health (CMMPH) had the honour of being invited to speak at a workshop ran yesterday by the Sheffield Institute for International Development. The workshop ‘Nepal: Reconstruction, Resilience and Development’ was organised by the University of Sheffield.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen spoke about endemic corruption in Nepal and opportunities that are offered by disasters such as earthquakes for more corruption. He pointed out that there is little research on corruption in Nepal, despite its low ranking on the international Corruption Perceptions Index. The presentation can be viewed here: Nepal earthquake corruption 2017 .
He pointed out that disasters are confusing events with often loads of money and relief aid arriving under chaotic conditions. Immediate emergency aid needs to be distributed to unknown people (‘those affected’), in difficult to access areas, under often chaotic socio-political conditions.
He also reminded the audience that corruption (and corrupt behaviour) are not limited to low-income countries. He highlighted the Ariana Grande case in Manchester (UK) where thousands falsely claimed to have been at the original attacked concert when applying for a ticket for the Manchester One Love concert.
The Directorate-General for Home Affairs invites proposals for the provision of technical assistance and support for establishing and coordinating a network of local research correspondents on corruption. The tenderer will coordinate the collection and processing of up-to-date, objective and reliable relevant information within the network and the analyses regarding the state of play of anti-corruption policies in EU member states. Funding is worth approximately €4 million over 48 months. For more info see their website.