Strengthen the HoPE-LVB Project by Strategically Implementing HIPs
The Health of the People and Environment in the Lake Victoria Basin (HoPE-LVB) project uses an integrated PHE approach with island and coastal communities in Kenya and Uganda. The project, managed by Pathfinder International and local partners, works to ensure that community members can access family planning and reproductive health services while also managing their natural resources in a way that safeguards their future. Project staff collaborate with fishers and farmers to reduce threats to biodiversity and improve ecosystem health.
HoPE-LVB family planning activities use elements of select HIPs. For example, project staff:
- Train and support community health workers (Community Health Workers).
- Work with community groups and leaders to conduct interpersonal communication and community group engagement activities (forthcoming Interpersonal Communication and Community Group Engagement).
- Encourage leaders at all levels of government to broaden the reach of family planning services in the project areas through advocacy and accountability efforts (Policy).
For more information on the work HoPE-LVB is doing, watch the video.
HOW CAN HOPE-LVB STRENGTHEN HIPS FOR ENHANCED RESULTS?
To further strengthen the impact of their Social and Behavior Change (SBC) category of activities, HoPE-LVB should strategically consider how to leverage the SBC HIPs they currently implement and explore opportunities to strengthen their family planning outcomes through use of additional SBC HIPs. Experts have found that community group engagement, for example, works best when implementers link work on multiple SBC approaches (such as those HoPE-LVB has already implemented, including interpersonal counseling, group dialogue and radio programming) with consistent themes.17 If funding were available, project staff could use Digital Health for Social and Behavior Change, a promising SBC HIP.
Applying lessons learned from an assessment of another Pathfinder project in Mozambique, staff could create an SMS-based system that sends users messages that share a fictional story about how a young person’s family planning behavior changed. Staff could then follow-up with information on contraception.18 If project staff implemented this SMS-based system through a digital application, users could also receive a menu of frequently asked reproductive health questions. More ideas on how to implement this HIP can be found in the Digital Health for Social and Behavior Change brief.19
Over the first three years of the project, HoPE-LVB had impressive results: In Uganda the number of new contraceptive users accessing their method of choice jumped from 263 at baseline in 2012 to 3,369 in 2013.20 This rapid increase is likely due to an initial demand for family planning, largely created by HoPE-LVB, that the project was able to satisfy. Since this initial increase, a steady influx of new users have sought voluntary contraceptive services. From 2012 to 2016, family planning use increased by six times in Kenya and three times in Uganda.21 To build on such strong results, HoPE-LVB could benefit from using more HIPs as the project strives for strong family planning outcomes as part of its overall objectives.