Support University Midwifery Education Program

Activity/project background

Partner: Lofa County University (Government)

The College of Health Sciences at the Lofa County University trains students to be professional nurses and care takers in Lofa County and in Liberia at large. The Department of Midwifery is a new program at the College of Health Sciences designed to train and prepare students to be professional midwives. To achieve this, the college has employed new faculty members to teach courses and oversee student practicums in the department. The college intends to strengthen the capacity of faculty teaching midwives using modern teaching methods and improved clinical skills.

The University is requesting a Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) to strengthen the capacity of nursing faculty in new teaching methods, effective planning and communication, and resource development.

Lofa County University has previously worked with Peace Corps Volunteers. Their service strengthened the capacity of faculty by improving teaching methods and theoretical and clinical instruction methods for midwifery and research. They understand that the role of a VSPP is very different than a two-year Volunteer.

Virtual service engagement and tasks

The VSPP will engage in the following tasks, in collaboration with their Host Country Partners:

• Mentoring and building the capacity of faculty and senior students in antenatal care using best teaching practices
• Strengthening the capacity of faculty/students in effective planning, communication, and resource development
• Mentoring and advising 2-3 faculty of the College of Health Sciences in best teaching practices
• Reviewing curriculum and planning lessons using best practices

This engagement is expected to be approximately 12 weeks. VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week.

Meetings between VSPPs and Host Country Counterparts will take place during normal office hours, from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Liberia Standard time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to WhatsApp, Zoom, Email, and other digital medium that are commonly used at post for regular communication and collaboration.

Per the Child Protection Code of Conduct, when engaging online with minors (0-18), two adults must be present.

Optional additional activities

The Peace Corps mission is to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:

  1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Goal 1 will be achieved through the VSPP's engagement and completion of the above tasks. The counterpart and VSPP may also choose to identify an activity that aligns with Goal 2. Additionally, the VSPP may identify a Goal 3 activity to implement during their engagement. See recommendations and tools for Goal 3 activities.

Essential qualifications

Education: Master’s degree in midwife education

Experience:
• 2 years’ experience teaching midwifery courses at an institution of higher learning
• 2-3 years’ experience in mentoring others in midwifery education and building the capacity of faculty/students in effective planning and management
• 2 years’ experience in clinical concepts in midwifery and research
• Basic knowledge and experience in developing or supporting the development of curriculum

Intercultural skills and motivation: Flexible, strong cross-cultural agility, high tolerance for ambiguity, able to work independently, resourceful, creative, and genuinely motivated and capable to serve virtually

Desired qualifications

Technical Skills:
• Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication
• Understanding of current concepts and best practices related to midwiferey

Experience: 3 years’ experience in midwifery education

Terms and conditions of engagement

VSPPs will be engaging with the host country partner, in coordination with Peace Corps post staff, remotely from the US. They should have access to a computer, internet, and telephone in order to enable direct engagement with the Peace Corps overseas office and the Host Country Counterpart assigned by the host country partner.

Orientation with the host country partner will be provided, within the designated virtual service hours, during the first week of virtual service via an online presentation and discussion. The host country partner will provide an overview of its organization, the local context, and how they envision collaborating with the VSPP.

The VSPP will have regular check-ins with their counterpart and bi-weekly check-ins with Peace Corps staff. Spending unstructured time with counterparts can be critical to relationship-building and is encouraged through activities such as coffee chats and informal calls within the weekly 5-15 hours.

Engagement-specific safety and security

The VSPP will receive an orientation on Peace Corps’ Child Protection Policy and how it relates to online engagement along with IT security best practices. The VSPP will be expected to follow safety and security guidelines for online engagement to ensure their safety and that of the Host Country Partner and their counterpart, and any beneficiaries of the engagement.

Supervision requirements

The VSPP will report to a designated Peace Corps staff member. The VSPP will be expected to abide by the Virtual Service Pilot Participant and Donation Agreement and Participant Principles of Engagement. The VSPP will also be expected to check in with the designated host country counterpart as assigned by the host county partner.


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