Background Internet and mobile connectivity have increased exponentially around the globe over the last decade. Consequently, technological advances have made a diverse range of options available for multimedia consumption, and led to the development of a variety of platforms for distance education. While other disciplines have taken advantage of these platforms to expand the reach of training and capacity development programs, this has not been the case for the field of injury prevention and control.
Methods We established the first free online and on-demand program on Road Traffic Injury Prevention and Control in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (RTIP). The program is comprised of six educational modules spanning the very basics of RTI prevention, key concepts, risk factors for RTIs, injury surveillance systems, evaluation design for RTI prevention programs and how to influence public policy. Although specifically designed with a foundation in public health approaches to the problem of RTIs, the program is applicable to many contexts – especially for persons without formal training in research methods as is the case in many LMICs. The program is self-paced – participants must complete pre- and post-evaluations to advance between the modules in the program’s sequence.
Results RTIP was launched in April 2013, and since then has had 1,542 enrolments from 132 countries. Among those who advance from the first module, 43% go on to complete the program. 63% are male, with the majority of participants being between the ages of 20–49 years. Most of the participants have either a Bachelors or Masters degree (69%), and 73% are either working professionals, students, or government officials. Only 16% of the participants identified themselves as researchers. A wide range of disciplines are represented by the participants with the top 5 being Public Health (23%), Engineering (14%), Transportation (9%), Social Sciences (8%), and other health sciences (7%).
Conclusions As seen from the RTIP program online platforms present a remarkable opportunity for the field of injury prevention to expand the reach of capacity development programs—to persons in resource poor settings who may not have access to formal training programs, or those who may be interested in continuing education.
- capacity development
- online training
- distance education
- road traffic
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