Evaluating Academic Mentorship Programs in Low- and Middle-Income Country Institutions: Proposed Framework and Metrics.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.18-0561
A growing number of low- and middle-income country (LMIC) institutions have developed and implemented formal programs to support mentorship. Although the individual-level benefits of mentorship are well established, such activities can also sustainably build institutional capacity, bridge inequities in health care, and catalyze scientific advancement. To date, however, evaluation of these programs remains limited, representing an important gap in our understanding about the impact of mentoring. Without rigorous and ongoing evaluation, there may be missed opportunities for identifying best practices, iteratively improving program activities, and demonstrating the returns on investment in mentorship. In this report, we propose a framework for evaluating mentorship programs in LMIC settings where resources may be constrained. We identify six domains: 1) mentor-mentee relationship, 2) career guidance, 3) academic productivity, 4) networking, 5) wellness, and 6) organizational capacity. Within each, we describe specific metrics and how they may be considered as part of evaluation plans. We emphasize the role of measurement and evaluation at the institutional level, so that programs may enhance their mentoring capacity and optimize the management of their resources. Although we advocate for a comprehensive approach to evaluation, we recognize that-depending on stage and relative maturity-some domains may be prioritized to address short- and medium-term program goals.