177715 Using electronic communities of practice to promote best practices in reproductive health

Monday, October 27, 2008

Angela Nash-Mercado , Access-Fp, JHPIEGO, Baltimore, MD
Peter Johnson , JHPIEGO, Baltimore, MD
While many effective practices in reproductive health are known, the dissemination and use of these best practices has been challenging. The Implementing Best Practices Knowledge Gateway supports collaboration and information sharing among reproductive health workers in low resource settings. Virtual communities of practice (CoPs) require minimal connectivity. More than 100 topic-oriented CoPs with 8,394 diverse members from over 180 countries are on the Gateway. This presentation will focus on two communities that cross borders and create bridges to share and exchange best practices.

The Postpartum Family Planning CoP has over 330 members and held several global discussions. One discussion featured experts on the lacational amenorrhea method (LAM) they contributed to the discussion and answered questions related to counseling, advocacy and the promotion of LAM. CoP members shared their own experiences. Another discussion brought together a diverse group to share information and experience about Healthy Timing and Spacing of Pregnancy. Discussions facilitate networking and identify areas for further work.

The Global Alliance for Preservice Education (GAPS) is a mechanism to support the application of competency based educational principles to the preparation and deployment of health workers. The community provides a virtual place where preservice educators network to explore best practices and challenges. Major tasks are to compile FP competencies into a consensus list of core competencies, share teaching strategies and resources.

These electronic communities are vital tools for information exchange, communication and the sharing of best practices in reproductive health.

Learning Objectives:
Describe how electronic virtual communities of practice can be utilized to move knowledge to practice in the fields of postpartum family planning and preservice education Demonstrate how two communities of practice have been used to increase awareness and generate dialogue via the IBP’s Knowledge Gateway Develop communities of practice in their own settings by applying the principles discussed.

Keywords: International Reproductive Health, International Family Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have extensive experience with the content that will be presented regarding the Implementing Best Practices Initiative and the electronic communication tool, the Knowledge Gateway.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.