What Makes Us Distinctive?
In line with our values, the following factors uniquely position KSP to help meet the above challenges:
Local roots: Few international organisations have worked in Somaliland for as long. 15 years have resulted in enduring relationships with the key actors in the health sector, including the principal medical and nursing schools, hospitals, professional associations and the national regulator. The input of such influential partners helps make our programmes both locally appropriate and sustainable in the long-run.
Frontline expertise: Hundreds of volunteers donate their time to design and deliver KSP programmes in 10 specialty areas: health professions education, hospital management, internal medicine, mental health, nursing and midwifery, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, regulation, research, and surgery. Volunteers are practising experts – clinicians, nurses, midwives, academics, regulators and clinical managers – working at all levels of seniority, from trainees and PhD students to directors and deans.
Value for money: Volunteer contributions significantly reduce overall costs. In an average academic year, volunteers donate over 4,500 hours to KSP, a cumulative salary equivalent estimated at £177,000 that exceeds KSP’s total direct costs. In other words, every £1 of funding for King’s volunteers delivers over £2 of support for Somaliland.
Sustainable: KSP seeks to maximise sustainability and minimise dependency. Our ultimate aim is for all programmes to be developed and delivered by Somaliland institutions and health workers. Our current work serves as a necessary stopgap until such in-country capacity exists. Building sustainability, by handing over programmes, is a slow, incremental process. Steps include:
1. KSP volunteers design and deliver programmes to Somaliland health workers
2. Somaliland health workers co-deliver KSP -designed programmes with KSP volunteers
3. Somaliland health workers co-design and co-deliver programmes with KSP volunteers
4. Somaliland health workers design and deliver programmes with KSP volunteer supervision
5. Somaliland health workers fully take over programmes and build capacity of other health workers
Unique offerings: Created in response to partner requests, a number of KSP’s most successful programmes were the first of their kind in Somaliland. Our ‘firsts’ include: objective, structured medical and nursing examining, undergraduate mental health teaching, ‘360 Degree’ professional evaluation, and research protocol and clinical audit development.
Mutual benefit: We have long known that our global health partnership is not a one-way street, and that UK volunteers and the NHS benefit too. Now there is published research to prove it. A study of KSP volunteers demonstrates that volunteers gain a range of skills – spanning communication, interdisciplinary working, teaching, management, leadership and service development – several of which are directly transferable to their NHS jobs.