North-South partnerships in graduate nursing education can prepare students to address global healthcare issues, increase cultural competence, and build research capacity. However, the current literature does not include a critical and systematic assessment of partnerships using established guidelines. This paper has two objectives: 1) Find and refine a suitable measure to assess a North-South inter-institutional research and clinical partnership in nursing; 2) Pilot test an assessment measure and describe the results of a systematic institutional self-evaluation of a developing North-South research and clinical partnership within a graduate nursing program. The first objective was addressed by searching for, examining and selecting an assessment measure. The second objective was obtained by applying the assessment measure to a developing graduate-level research and clinical partnership between a Canadian School of Nursing and a Malawian College of Nursing; qualitative data collected included information from a document review and subjective experiences of partners. Results showed that when appropriate revisions are made to an existing guideline, it is applicable to use as an assessment measure for North-South inter-institutional research and clinical partnerships. Recommendations for improvement were made, allowing the guideline to be more specific for research and clinical partnerships. Results demonstrated that the existing Canadian-Malawian partnership was strongest in the guideline category of "shaping the purpose and scope of the partnership," and weakest in "partnership implementation and context." This paper implies that: 1) evaluation can strengthen partnerships and enhance educational experience for nursing students; 2) research comparing and contrasting different genres of partnerships could help determine which type is the most appropriate for an institutions' particular outcome goals; and 3) effective establishment and maintenance of North-South partnership occurs through an on-going process of evaluation.
Keywords: Canada; Capacity building; Global health; Graduate education; Malawi; Partnership evaluation.
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