Evaluating Commonwealth Scholarships in the United Kingdom: Assessing impact in the health sector

The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK (CSC),  a major international scholarship agency funded by the UK government, is responsible for disbursing scholarships, as investment in the skills, human capacity and higher education systems that developing countries need to devise their own long-term solutions to key global health issues. This report aims to assess the impact of these awards, particularly in the light of global health priorities. The report provides an outline of key development priorities in health and the role of Commonwealth Scholarships in development. The main body of the report considers all of CSC’s health-related alumni and the wider impact of health-related awards, before narrowing the focus to a selection of case studies and a group of survey respondents, and then looking in particular at five alumni who were interviewed in depth on the impact of their awards. The overview of priority areas in the health sector highlights a need for skills and expertise in areas such as maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other infectious diseases. Many of CSC alumni, who studied in a variety of different disciplines and towards different qualifications, have had an impact in areas that directly contribute towards the Millennium Development Goals, in particular Goals 4, 5 and 6: reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other major diseases. The report concludes that the CSC’s alumni in the health sector are having considerable impact both within the sector, and also towards wider development objectives.

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