The I-TECH Approach

Background

The International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH) is a center within the Department of Global Health (DGH) at the University of Washington (UW). I-TECH comprises a global network, operating in 17 countries, that is committed to building long-term capacity in health systems strengthening; human resources for health; and targeted, data-driven interventions and research that are responsive to local needs.

Our unique approach to sustainability and capacity building, through training and research, creates a strong foundation for contextually appropriate health programs. Our programs effectively tackle emerging health threats and address national health priorities to achieve high quality, compassionate, and equitable health care.

Founded in 2002, I-TECH’s work is rooted in transformative education and reciprocal learning. Our global network uses these approaches to bring proven programs to scale, develop a skilled health care workforce, and ensure health system gains are sustainable and aligned to country priorities.

I-TECH is a culturally rich professional community that includes UW faculty, global partners, and U.S. and global staff and students. This community of people with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and opinions encourages learning from one another to improve our efforts for health equity.

Strategic Partnership

I-TECH was founded on a bedrock of partnership. From day one, we have worked at the request of—and in collaboration with—ministries of health to improve access to high-quality health care. Using a participatory approach, I-TECH partners with host country governments, universities, non-governmental organizations, civil society partners, and funders to design and implement locally relevant health programs within existing local systems and processes.

I-TECH’s long-established Partnership Model (below) guides the provision of technical services and technical assistance toward local ownership and sustainability, creating projects and programs that can be integrated into national systems.

The Global I-TECH Network

Since its inception, I-TECH has led or supported programs in more than 30 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, South America, Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Caribbean. I-TECH currently works in Botswana, Cambodia, Cameroon, the Caribbean Region (Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago), Côte d’Ivoire, Haiti, India, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda, Ukraine, and Zimbabwe.

Ensuring Sustainable Local Capacity and Health Systems

I-TECH takes a holistic, system-wide approach to building individual, local, and health system capacity to ensure sustainable outcomes. We work within existing national health systems, recognizing the multiple factors that affect health systems and those who work within it.

We apply this approach to what we do, represented in the outer circles of the model (at right). The boxes in the outer ring represent an enabling environment that includes strong health leadership and governance; information systems that are accurate and accessible; effective and empowered regulatory bodies; and policies, standards, and guidelines that are aligned with innovations.

I-TECH provides tailored technical assistance to advocate for, strengthen, and transfer these systems and processes to local governments to assure the success of the health workforce to deliver and improve access to quality health care services.

The inner circles show the I-TECH approaches to creating an optimized health workforce and sustainable health systems for equitable access to quality health care:

  • Learner-centered training, mentoring, and continuing education
  • The ability to bring programs to scale quickly and across contexts
  • Creating a culture of using data and strategic information to improve programs and patient care
  • Research and evaluation to ensure evidence-based service delivery