The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

5132.0: Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 1:45 PM

Abstract #45033

Increasing access to reproductive health information in low-resource settings: Lessons learned from the establishment of a technology-assisted learning center in La Paz, Bolivia

Catherine Schenck-Yglesias, MHS, Research & Evaluation Office, JHPIEGO Corporation, 1615 Thames Street, Suite 200, Baltimore, MD 21231, Theresa C. Norton, MBA, Learning and Performance Support Office, JHPIEGO Corporation, 1615 Thames Street, Suite 200, Baltimore, MD 21231, 410-537-1896,, Donna Sacknoff, MPH, Consultant, JHPIEGO Corporation, 4306 Constance Street, New Orleans, LA 70115, and Kelly A. Curran, MHS, Latin America and the Caribbean Office, JHPIEGO Corporation, 1615 Thames Street, Suite 200, Baltimore, MD 21231.

A Technology Assisted Learning Center (TALC) was established at the Health Sciences Library of the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés in La Paz, Bolivia in October 1999 to bring electronic family planning/reproductive health (FP/RH) resources to medical and nursing school faculty and students through the Internet, which was previously unavailable at the university. JHPIEGO trained library staff and faculty to conduct Internet searches and to use software applications. Library staff were also trained in basic maintenance of the network and hardware. During the first year, there were more than 5,300 faculty and student TALC user sessions recorded, and a successful cost-recovery system garnered $US 3,600. A March 2001 evaluation of over 300 students, faculty and library staff revealed that students were using the TALC to take charge of their education, find answers to their academic questions and produce better quality coursework. While JHPIEGO expected a trickle-down effect of updated knowledge from faculty to students, the evaluation revealed that the reverse was occurring, with students doing the bulk of the research. As students grew more proficient in their use of the TALC as a research tool, they also developed more sophisticated desires for user support, which posed a challenge due to the limited ability of library staff to provide high-tech user support. Despite this challenge, the TALC clearly demonstrated the benefits of making information technology available to preservice institutions in low-resource settings.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this session, the participants will be able to

Keywords: Information Technology, International

Related Web page:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Service Delivery: International Perspectives

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA