249432 Scaling up use of high-quality health information in developing countries through a global partnership between Peace Corps and Johns Hopkins University

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Marguerite Joseph , Overseas Programming and Training Support, Peace Corps, Washington, DC
Ruwaida Salem, MPH , Center for Communication Programs, Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Project, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Annie Peirce , Overseas Programming and Training Support, Peace Corps, Washington, DC
Purpose – Peace Corps (PC) needed a platform to make quality health resources available to Volunteers in the field to supplement their technical training, avoid duplication of effort, and maximize their impact. The Johns Hopkins Knowledge for Health (K4Health) project offered PC their software as an IT solution to their knowledge management (KM) needs. Through this partnership, PC Volunteers gained direct access to an electronic library of essential health resources, called eToolkits, with offline access through USB flash drives. Information used – PC health specialists identified technical materials, including tools, guides, and lesson plans, produced by US government agencies and other expert organizations, as well as materials developed by PC Volunteers that had never been shared globally. Process – K4Health provided PC with access to its eToolkits platform, offering such features as unlimited document storage, Google™-powered search, categorization tools, and links to social bookmarking. After a brief training session, PC staff began building eToolkits themselves, with technical support from K4Health as needed. Results – PC published 10 health eToolkits on a range of topics, including reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, malaria, food security, and gender. PC program managers in the field have requested about 5,000 flash drives to distribute to health, environment, and youth development Volunteers in 48 countries. Recommendations – Innovative partnerships between public health and IT organizations help support efficient and cost-effective workflows to meet KM needs. The PC and K4Health partnership can be replicated across different sectors to reach large audiences of specialists in the field with up-to-date knowledge.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Define a technological solution to reaching large audiences of health professionals with essential health information. 2. Describe a collaborative partnership that brings together a complete information technology solution for an international health program’s knowledge management needs in the field at low cost.

Keywords: Collaboration, International Public Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I oversee training programs for Peace Corps Volunteers and staff in the health field.
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.