Community Based Education and Community Service (CBES)

General Information

Although a combination of teaching methodologies is used in different departments, as teaching methodology, Community Based Education (CBE) is widely exercised throughout the college. Classroom lecture methods, demonstrations, hospital visits/clinical attachments and laboratory exercises are parts of the teaching methodologies. During the community and clinical attachment sessions, students are exposed to various problems that require local /hospital solutions. At this stage students get the chance to develop hands-on experience and problem solving attitudes. The competence of instructors in the teaching learning process has been given serious consideration at college of medicine and health sciences. A higher diploma program in teaching methodology has been introduced and all staff members will be required to go through this program in the future if they choose to stay in the teaching profession.

A. Community Based Education (CBE): A Starting point and teaching methodology

The college has known by implementing Community Based Education (CBE) consisting Community based Training Program (CBTP) and Team Training Program (TTP). Graduating class students are assigned in different health centers for Team Training Program (TTP) for two months every year. During their stay in the community, students would provide basic health service activities both in static and outreach schemes.

Strategies of CBE 
In order to implement community based education (CBE), the college uses the following three strategies:

  1. Developmental Team Training Program (DTTP)
  2. Community Based Training Program (CBTP)
  3. Team Training Program (TTP)
  4. Student Research Program (SRP)
  • Developmental Team Training (DTTP)

The Developmental Team Training Program (DTTP) has been one of the strategies of CBE since 2018. DTTP is implemented in post graduate programs. The graduating class of post graduate students in the college create a multi-disciplinary team. Then the team is placed to a certain community for two months. The DTTP team will review the Woreda/Kebele plan for data analyses and intervention.

The team will be able to identify major health and health related problems through situational analysis and community-based diagnoses approaches. Based on prioritization matrix, the team will prioritize the identified problems to select the top one. Then the top problem will be selected for intervention. The intervention is expected to address the root cause of one or more problems of health and health related problems. To achieve the project, the DTTP team shall go for resource mobilization from the community, solicit funds from the community, government and nongovernment sources.

The program engages the community in problem identification, drawing of action plan implementation and creating model Woreda/Kebele. The participation of the community is targeted to ensure sustainability of the intervention. There is also in-built exit strategy, where the community takes over the intervention/s. The information which was collected from the community and the interventions implemented to better societal problems are presented to the DTTP team. This platform is a means to share ideas and to fertilize ideas among the teams.

The following is the procedures to carry out DTTP:

  • Formation of team and naming of the team leaders and reporter
  • Assignment of supervisors
  • Provide orientation
  • Site selection for DTTP
  • Identify the study community
  • Develop investigation tools
  • Gather data
  • Process and analyses of data
  • Problem identification and priority setting
  • Draw intervention action plan
  • Carry out intervention
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Reporting and presentation
  • Create a platform by involving Woreda officers/town officers in the respective field, the community leaders and appropriate BDU offices
  • The university CBE office syntheses the report and disseminate to the stake holders,community and appropriate offices of BDU.


  • Community Based Training Program (CBTP)

It is an integrated institutional program, which runs in phases from first year to graduation along with an in-built regular follow up program. Each phase has specifically defined educational objectives. During each phase, students as a group are assigned to urban and semi-urban or rural areas. In the CBTP activity students are expected to collect relevant information using well-structured questionnaires. For each team, a team of supervisors (academic staff) are deployed together with the students. The data collection period in the community is about 5 to 8 days.  After data collection, students and assigned supervisors participate in data analysis to determine the community problems. In this process, problem identification and prioritization is undertaken. Finally students are expected to present their findings at symposium.

  • Team Training Program (TTP)

In Team Training Program (TTP), senior students from different health disciplines will be deployed to rural and semi-urban health center as a team (each team consists of 10 to 15 students) for two months and engage themselves in clinical and community outreach activities. Every fortnight supervisors (senior academic staffs) are deployed to supervise the activities and evaluate the two weeks activity reports. During each phase, the team of students delivers services to the catchment communities of the health center.

  • Student Research Program (SRP)

Within the SRP, all under graduate program students are required to undertake independent institutional/community based research work. During this program the student (s) and the research advisors of students will work hand in hand to finalize student research activities. This enables the students to become skilled researchers. While doing their research they will gain knowledge on problem identification, data collection, data analysis, interpretation, recommending solutions and implementing them. The study has to be problem-oriented, community-based/institution-based, scientifically and ethically sound and feasible and action oriented.

Community-Based Education, in general, has enabled the university:
To train professionals in diverse fields of studies in a community setting in such a way that the students will be responsive to the needs of the community, mainly:

  • To encourage a team approach in treating societal problems,
  • To work with the local communities with greater conviction,
  • To undertake problem-based research activities which take into consideration the priority needs of the community and enhance research undertaking skill.

Current Activities

  • Based on CBE-BDU guideline, undergraduate students of Medicine, Nursing, and Midwifery at their final year of studies are teamed up and are now attached to seven TTP sites found in East and West Gojjam and Awi zones.
  • Students from other programs (Medical Lab., Pharmacy, Psychatry, Ansthesia and speciality programs) will be considered for TTP in their final year of graduation.
  • Nursing students conducted their CBTP-I and CBTP-II program in Belay Zeleke District, Bahir Dar
  •  CBE office is working to build Students’ hostels in each TTP sites 

B. Community Services:

Higher education institutions in Ethiopia have a longstanding tradition of teaching. However, research and community services (CS) have only recently become among the core missions of universities. As a result, RCS activities seem to have remained with less well- established systems and community service activities are the least considered in institutional policy, planning, and resource allocation processes in Ethiopian Universities in general and in Bahir Dar University in particular. Moreover, it is a highly challenging area to the extent that the nature, scope and disciplinary application of service activities must be defined.

Activities and approaches of CS in BDU shall be:

a) Consultancy: provision of professional advice to the community who request the service.

b) Capacity building: a process that encompasses the building of technical abilities, structure, behaviors, relationships and values that enable individuals, groups, organizations and societies to enhance their performance and to achieve their development objectives over time.

c) Partnership: Establishing partnership and linkages with stakeholders working for community development.

d) Mobilizing: Work directly with government bodies, leaders and community groups so as to mobilize the community for various interventions.

e) Advocacy: support community efforts to obtain resource or bring about change in policy and to speak on behalf of the community or its parts.

f) Donation: provide funding and/or material support to the community (as per the government rules) to facilitate professional CS delivery.

g) Distribution of used materials: distribution shall prioritize CS sites (Kolela, Birr Adama, Bahir Dar) and for projects prioritized by AUs and RCs. Distribution may be operated at the end of every quarter (depending on the availability of materials and/or demand).

h) Awareness creation for individuals, public and private entities, professional and civic societies and communities in issues that affect their economic, social lives, and the environment; as well as in other cross-cutting issues that affect their well-being.

i) Membership and active participation in professional associations and voluntary and charity organizations.

j) Generation of resources and revenues to help the University and its partners/clients in enhancing their respective and collective missions so as to empower and transform communities.


Tilahun Belete Mossie

Assistant Professor in Mental Health

Director, Community Based Education and Community Service (CBES)
College of Medicine and Health Sciences,

Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia


Office: Tibebe Ghion Campus

Tel: +251-0582-264162 (office)

Fax: +251-0582- 205932

Bahir Dar, Ethiopia


Contact CMHS

College Of Medicine and Health Sciences

Bahir Dar University

 Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

Phone:- +251-0582-9 99275 79



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