Earlier this month in Côte d’Ivoire, Springboard for Health Communication was introduced to representatives from the Programme National de Lutte contre le Sida (PNLS) and USAID, other national and international partner organizations, and the media. Over 60 people attended.
Following a welcome from Mrs. Diarra Kamara Racine, country director for Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP), and introductory comments by Mr. Ange Bouikalo, representing Dr. Abo (coordinating director of the PNLS) and Mr. Benjamin Soro (HC3), Springboard was presented. To begin, several attendees were invited to play a game, which demonstrated the importance of being inspired by another’s achievements in order to better succeed at one’s own. The game’s participants played with a certain passion, attracting amused smiles from the rest of the audience observing them. The game provided an easy transition to the presentation on Springboard, a platform for knowledge and shared experience.
Springboard: A Professional Social Network
Springboard provides a free meeting place for professionals all over the world, who have common views and goals, to promote sharing of knowledge, experiences, ideas and resources, while improving the practice of health communication. It’s described as two-fold: a virtual part with an online platform to contact other members and start discussions on topics related to social and behavior change communication (SBCC) in public health, and the second component, which consists of local, regional or international in-person meetings and forums.
Participants’ Sharp Interest
To demonstrate the platform’s ease of use, a participant was invited to create his Springboard profile on the online platform. During this time, the team answered questions. One of the participants, having registered with the platform a few months ago, shared his experience on using Springboard. By the end of the presentation, about 10 people had registered with Springboard.
Health Compass: A Digital Library Open to All
The Health COMpass is another resource available from the HC3 Capacity Strengthening team. While Springboard is a social network which requires action from its members, the Health Compass is a virtual library of SBCC resources. Mr. Soro encouraged participants to regularly visit this platform and benefit from its rich resources, including many tool kits and models, and examples of how they were used in several countries, proving their effectiveness.
Promotion and Next Steps
At the end of the presentation, the participants promised to be ambassadors of Springboards to their respective organizations. Some even volunteered to re-present the information to their colleagues (note that CCP also is available to accompany any presentation to other organizations). Mrs. Kamara concluded the event by asking the participants to go above and beyond simple registration on Springboard to become active members and contributors.
This is a translation of an original post in French by Benjamin K. Soro | HC3 Côte d’Ivoire Media and Communication Officer.