Online Program

A “straight to the point” approach to local capacity development

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 11:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Joseph Petraglia, PhD, Technical and Program Strengthening Department, Pathfinder International, Watertown, MA
Olivia Moseley, Technical and Program Strengthening Department, Pathfinder International, Watertown, MA
Increasingly, international nongovernmental organizations are working through local community-based organizations (CBOs) to implement public health activities. In-depth guides and curricula to address various technical issues are frequently inaccessible to small CBOs as they assume a greater level of capacity, resources, and experience than such organizations possess.

To address this problem, Pathfinder drafted, field tested, and refined a number of technical tools entitled the Straight to the Point Series covering topics including assessing behavior change activities; assessing information, education, and communication (IEC) materials; advocacy; budgeting; prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission; and workplanning.

The Straight to the Point capacity building approach breaks complex issues into smaller, more manageable steps. The tools are task-based, and contain a minimal amount of abstract or theoretical information. They are not text heavy and require little in the way of written responses.

Feedback and input from CBO implementers in Uganda and Tanzania suggest that the Straight to the Point tools have been quickly adopted with few problems. Quarterly reports indicate that CBO implementers were able to reach more members of the target population than they had in the time prior to the introduction of the materials.

The Straight to the Point tools do not replace comprehensive guidance, but rather offer an easier, more direct way of improving projects, building organizational capacity, and launching new activities. The series takes a pragmatic, realistic approach to designing tools that people will actually use because they are relatively simple and are not time-consuming to implement.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Identify the elements that differentiate comprehensive technical guidance from basic technical guidance.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have five years of experience designing and refining instructional materials and tools for use in low-resource settings.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Pathfinder International Technical Services Unit Employment (includes retainer)

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.