Developing and localizing materials to empower community health workers_Shannon_5.3.12


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  • Here’s an overview of this process, incorporating digital technology…..The key to this whole process remains the individuals and communities who use our materials -- and with whom we develop them.  As you can see here, the digital commons -- along with our books, in print and other forms -- is part of a cycle of information, in which our materials are adapted and used by people working in the field, and those adaptations, along with the experiences of the health workers and communities who use them, feed directly back into our print and digital resources.  To show some of these new digital tools help in this process, let’s imagine a health worker in Honduras, Rosa. Now, Rosa is patterned off of my own experiences working in rural Honduras and using Hesperian’s books to train community health workers and set up village water projects during the 1980’s. The difference however, is that Rosa is now doing very similar work – but it’s 2012, and she has access to Hesperian’s cool new tools. To give you a little context: let’s say that Rosa works for a non-profit that is based in Tegucigalpa (the capital city), but spends the majority of her time in rural areas where she is from and where she is usually often the primary health provider that community members have access to.
  • She can even refer her colleagues in Pakistan to a bi-lingual language hub where they can find PDFs, a link to the HealthWiki, and contact information for finding locally printed copies of translated material. Although we have had Spanish-language material accessible from our website for a number of years, the digital commons radically expands access to Hesperian materials in 26 languages.
  • Now, Rosa can use the Health Materials Workshop to format her handout. She can copy and paste the information she wants from the HealthWiki, then adapt it to reflect the needs and local knowledge of her patients. She can upload images from the image library, and arrange everything so that it will be easy to read and remember. If her office is having trouble with electricity or internet connection, she can also use the Workshop offline. When she’s done, the flyer will be saved online, so that other community health workers can see it, and use it for their own adaptations. She can also save it to her computer, and print copies to be carried into the countryside.
  • Although our fictional Rosa doesn’t own an iPhone, she definitely uses a cell phone – in many places, there are more people with cell phones than access to electricity or toilets in their homes. In order to demonstrate the power of the digital commons, and to show how our well-known books can be effectively broken down into small units of information that retain the empowering accessible nature of Hesperian materials, we created the Safe Pregnancy and Birth mobile app which we launched in February. The first version of the app was designed for an iPhone, and we will be launching a Beta of the Android version next week. We are interested in working with partners to adapt this to other languages and platforms, to localize it, etc. The current version of this app will be accessible to those with smart phones – maybe even the manager of the program that employs Rosa – but as our material is adapted to lower-end phones, and as technology advances, it is easy to imagine this kind of mobile delivery of health information reaching even rural farming communities.
  • Our new mobile app and digital commons represent an exciting step forward for Hesperian, as we work to connect 40 years of experience developing empowering health materials in collaboration with communities around the world with new technologies that are quickly expanding our ability to share and adapt life-saving health information for those who need it most, in whatever form is most usable to them.
  • Developing and localizing materials to empower community health workers_Shannon_5.3.12

    1. 1. Developing andlocalizingmaterials toempowerCommunityHealth Workers CORE Group May 3, 2012
    2. 2. Overview1. Introductions2. Principles of empowering materials development3. Introduction to Hesperian‟s digital tools4. Work groups5. Report-back and debrief
    3. 3. Hesperian Books• Where There Is No Doctor• Where Women Have No Doctor• A Book for Midwives• Disabled Village Children• A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities• Helping Children Who Are Blind• Helping Children Who are Deaf• Helping Health Workers Learn• Where There Is No Dentist• A Community Guide to Environmental Health
    4. 4. Know your audience(s)A nurse may be using the material…
    5. 5. Know your audience(s)… but not with other nurses!
    6. 6. Start from people‟s own experience
    7. 7. Choose what to include
    8. 8. Clarity of languageIt‟s not really about simple words. Make it concrete. Relevant information + Acknowledgment of context = Useful, actionable content
    9. 9. Start with life, not anatomy
    10. 10. Offer practical solutions
    11. 11. Find opportunities forcompassion & validation
    12. 12. Avoid jargonUse the spoken language ofthe people and avoid foreign,medical or big words.For example, say“Press with yourfinger” instead of“Apply digitalpressure.”
    13. 13. Active learning Active learning
    14. 14. Drawings for discussionWhat health problemsmay be caused by thiscommunity‟s use ofwater?
    15. 15. Encourage discussion of root causes
    16. 16. Design Principles• Consistent, easy to follow presentation and structure• Clean layout• Use pictures and icons
    17. 17. Consistent structure and presentation
    18. 18. It‟s not over when it‟s overGive people a path which theycan take to moveforward, learn more, and takeresponsibility for improvingtheir health.
    19. 19. Digital Commons Health Guides AdaptationsCommunity use & feedback
    20. 20. HealthWiki
    21. 21. Bilingual Language Hubs
    22. 22. Image Library
    23. 23. Health MaterialsWorkshop & Exchange
    24. 24. Mobile App:Safe Pregnancy and Birth
    25. 25. Work Group1. Discuss a case scenario for making a flyer OR pick a pre- made flyer to adapt2. Discuss the audience for your flyer, what they already know, and what they would want to learn3. Choose what content to include, considering what is most important, and what should be adapted for local needs4. Log in to the Health Materials Workshop ( Under „Example Health Materials‟, select either the 1 or 2 Page Example OR select a pre-made flyer with content on the topic that your work group would like to customize6. Click „customize‟ at the top of the page, name your new health material, and edit and/or adapt it7. Click „Print (pdf)‟ to create a PDF of your flyer.
    26. 26. Sarah Shannon Executive DirectorHesperian Health Guides 1919 Addison Street Berkeley, CA 94704 (510) 845-1447