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Thursday, May 18 • 11:45 - 12:25
Innovating, adapting, learning, expanding and excelling: Improving interpersonal communication around the globe through a mobile distance education platform LIMITED

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Over the course of the past 4 years, the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP) repeatedly adapted the OppiaMobile platform¬– an open-source, Android-based application– for use in diverse country contexts. This user-friendly distance education platform– originally designed for use by Frontline Health Workers (FHWs)– was tailored by 4 separate country program teams to meet the specific communication needs of different cadres of FHWs. The resulting application was integrated with learning management functionality that allowed for systematic delivery, reliable access to content and easy management of health promotion content. A means for narrow-casting persuasive content to media dark areas, the app also encouraged self-learning and use of analytics to improve program decision-making. It was also designed to include a monitoring component, providing detailed analytics on how the app is being used by the FHW via a dynamic dashboard.

In Nigeria, the first instance, the application was used as a job aid for midwives seeking to improve interpersonal communication (IPC) skills; namely, reduce provide bias against youth clients. The next generation of the application was developed in India where, in addition to functioning as an e-learning tool, the app included a behavior change communication (BCC) component for community members. The goal of this mCounseling component was to strengthen provider-client IPC sessions by modeling key health behaviors directly to clients and following up with an immediate IPC session. In a similar vein to India, the Pakistan application also served a dual purpose: self-learning and client counseling on maternal and child health. The Pakistan self-learning component built on the basic mLearning structure developed in India by carefully applying adult learning theories to develop a learning pathway for Pakistani health workers. Most recently, the Nepal version of the app was designed as a theory-based, scenario driven job aid that would improve IPC among facility-based providers. A key difference from prior CCP OppiaMobile pilots is that the Nepal app was designed for use at scale in Nepal.

With each subsequent adaptation of the application, CCP expands its ability to design and develop context specific job aids and BCC tools using a single platform. Built for sustainability, each app was developed as part of an evolving global system that supports creation, curation, packaging and distribution of health related content for health workers. With very short timelines and modest budgets, CCP has recently developed similar demand generation tools for Nepal and Pakistan. Each country uses a tailored and systematic approach towards design and content adoption. This process can also be engineered for institutionalization by the government to re-purpose multimedia materials for training and community education.

avatar for Heidi Good Boncana

Heidi Good Boncana

Co-Chair/Senior Program Officer, ICT & Innovation, CCP
Ms. Good-Boncana is Senior Program Officer, ICT & Innovation, at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Co-Chair of the Global Digital Health Network - a 2800-person strong CoP focused on connecting technology for health professionals. Ms. Good-Boncana has 13 years of... Read More →

Thursday May 18, 2017 11:45 - 12:25 IST