Program Overview

The Management Development Institute (MDI) for Health Care Organizations is a one-week intensive program designed to enhance the leadership and management skills of program managers and leaders of sub-Saharan African organizations, governmental and non-governmental, that are devoted to delivering health care services to underserved populations. The program has been designed specifically to assist African ministries of health in implementing their particular national health priorities.

Over 1,000 participants from 33 African countries have graduated from this program. Up until 2010, the MDI was focused solely on HIV/AIDS. In 2011, the program’s focus was expanded to health systems, generally, and now invites participation of those involved in implementing national health priorities in the areas of communicable diseases — of which HIV/AIDS is one — and chronic diseases, as well.

The original MDI program was designed by world-class management faculty from the UCLA Anderson School of Management at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and by leaders of Amref Health Africa (formely the African Medical and Research Foundation). Currently, the program is a partnership between, Johnson & Johnson, UCLA, Amref Health Africa, the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) and the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town (UCT). The program is funded by Johnson & Johnson, one of the most admired companies in the world today. The language of instruction in all programs is English.


Management Development Institute

Program Need

Without effective leadership and management of health services, there will be barriers to scaling up service delivery, the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and achieving national health priorities in sub-Saharan Africa. This constraint persists due to a shortage of leadership and management expertise in the region, and to an uncoordinated and fragmented approach to building this capacity. Leadership and management knowledge, skills and abilities can be taught, and have a demonstrated impact in enhancing the quantity, quality and access to health care for underserved populations. Health systems must achieve more and better health outcomes with the limited human and financial resources at their disposal. Sound management and leadership can significantly increase the efficiency and effectiveness with which these scarce resources are used. 

Program Goals

The primary goal of the MDI is to provide ministries of health with the requisite management and leadership capacity to implement their stated national health priorities.

Representatives from public health systems along with their NGO implementing partners will learn management tools, frameworks and knowledge that will enable them to increase the quantity and quality of health services they provide along with improved access to them. The lessons will be practical, and aimed toward successfully meeting the complex challenges faced by Eastern, Western and Southern African health systems.