Learning from successful programs, using evidence-based tools and methodologies, and being creative and innovative are huge challenges communication practitioners face! When searching for online reference information, there are thousands of documents, examples, data points and other information to sift through.
In the end, health communication practitioners tend to use the same reference websites from leading organizations, but sometimes are not sure if they are the latest versions of documents or the most recent information.
Which brings us to the magic of Health COMpass platform—an electronic platform with curated, evidence-based communication tool kits and reference documents that help make our search a little easier.
The Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) project worked with its Guatemala partners to identify social and behavior change communication (SBCC) capacity strengthening resources using the Health COMpass and implement those resources at the local level. That is how PASMO, a local NGO in Guatemala and member of PSI, started to engage with HC3.
By providing technical assistance to PASMO in identifying capacity strengthening needs and selecting a tool from Health COMpass, HC3 helped to identify a gap in the areas of gender and new masculinities within family planning. And in our USAID|PlanFam project, we were determining how to engage and train health providers so they could work effectively with men and boys on the topics of gender and new masculinity related to sexual and reproductive health.
As we looked for gender training and reference materials that would help us introduce this topic to health providers, we found Engaging Men and Boys in Gender and Health: A toolkit for action. Produced by PROMUNDO and MenEngage Alliance, it was a great resource with a variety of interactive, participatory tools divided by topic that were easy to implement and put it into action.
Later, we organized three regional workshops with family planning health providers, educators, facilitators and outreach community health workers. The workshop included topics on gender roles, masculinity concepts, organizing health services to engage men and boys, the role of health providers in making it possible, and creating alliances and networks to carry out this work. All of the information presented at the workshop was implemented using an interactive and participatory fashion, thanks to the PROMUNDO documents, as we used many of the tools included in the kit to make it a successful, learning-teaching, participatory process.
Health COMPass is an evidence-based, up-to-date, state-of-the art, invaluable resource that helped us as health and communication practitioners to think more effectively and creatively by learning about best practices in our field.
To learn more about our experience, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.