K4Health's work in Ethiopia has focused around a qualitative assessment of health information needs. The needs assessment process:
- Explored the current family planning/reproductive health (FP/RH) knowledge management system;
- Examined the available resources and opportunities at different levels of the health system;
- Identified areas for improvement; and
- Provided informed suggestions.
In addition, the study employed a relatively new social network analysis and presentation tool, Net-Map, which assisted in the analysis and visual presentation of the data.
The study was conducted in Oromia, Amhara, Afar (regional level) and Debreberhan, Gondar, Arsi, and Awash (zonal/woreda levels). There were a total of 17 individual interviews, 4 group interviews, and 2 focus group discussions. The Net-Map methodology was used to explore the family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) information exchange network and its influencing factors.
Findings showed a shortage in skilled staff in the FP/RH arena, lack of familiarity with national policy and strategy documents, and confusion regarding the authority of RH actors--for example, participants were confused about which organizations had direct authority over others, and to whom organizations should submit reports on RH activities.
A dissemination workshop was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in May 2012. Results from the needs assessment were presented at the World Congress on Public Health in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in April 2012 and the NIH Science of Dissemination and Implementation Conference in Bethesda, MD, USA, in March 2012. Zonal-level results were presented at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA) in San Francisco, CA, USA, in October 2012.
More about Net-Map: