241865 Advancing Global Health through Online Communities of Practice (CoPs)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Angela Nash-Mercado , Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Project, Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs, Baltimore, MD
Lisa Basalla , Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Project, Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs, Baltimore, MD
Lissette Bernal-Cruz , The RESPOND Project, EngenderHealth, New York, NY
In the last two decades, the international health field has witnessed a growth in online communities of practice (CoPs). CoPs are formed by people who engage in a process of collective learning and knowledge sharing in a shared domain. This presentation explores the success of CoPs in advancing global health. A review of the knowledge management, human resources, management information systems, and social learning literature was undertaken. In addition, over 10 interviews were conducted with CoP leaders and a forum with over 300 contributors was organized to assess the increased use of CoPs in the field of global health. Key examples of how CoPs advance public health include: Pre-service education training; Development of guidelines; and Promotion of standardized best practices. Data shows that CoPs contribute to advancing global learning and collaboration among international public health professionals by: (1) addressing the ‘knowledge to practice' gap and (2) providing an opportunity for geographically dispersed public health professionals to come together to collaborate and share knowledge that in turn can be used to inform and improve program design and management. CoPs also can serve as a venue for disseminating the latest research and guidance. Use CoPs to (1) Quickly convene public health practitioners around the world to share experiences at low cost, (2) Spark innovative solutions to old problems and contribute to the development and dissemination of evidence-based health information products, and (3) Enhance and inform program design and management, and ultimately improve programs and health outcomes.

Learning Areas:
Communication and informatics

Learning Objectives:
Participants will learn how communities of practice (CoPs) advance global health by increasing knowledge sharing and promotion of best practices, fostering collaboration and therefore reducing duplication of efforts, and, in turn, improving health outcomes.

Keywords: Internet Tools, Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the co-author of the original work that is informing this poster presentation.
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.