The Ethiopia Federal Ministry of Health plays a critical role in information flow. However, it often receives more information than it dispatches, which creates a situation in which information is slow to diffuse. To ensure the Ethiopian health sector’s continued progress in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, the availability and flow of information and knowledge throughout the health sector, especially in a decentralized environment, is critical.
Knowledge Management: Needs Assessment and Technical Assistance
The K4Health Project conducted a family planning and reproductive health information needs assessment in 2010-2011. Using these findings, the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) drafted a National Knowledge Management Strategy and invited K4Health to take part in the 2015 stakeholder review of the document.
In an effort to assist the FMOH in implementing its National Knowledge Management Strategy and Roadmap, K4Health provided technical assistance to the FMOH as they developed a database of FMOH-produced publications. In addition, we facilitated a highly participatory knowledge management (KM) training. We used KM approaches during the training, and provided practical tools to help FMOH staff implement KM in their day-to-day work.
Population, Health, and Environment (PHE) is a development approach that focuses on the relationship between human health and environmental health. Integrated PHE programs improve primary health care services, particularly family planning and reproductive health, while also helping communities conserve biodiversity, manage natural resources, and develop sustainable livelihoods. Some countries--such as Ethiopia, Madagascar, and the Philippines--have done extensive work in PHE policy and programming, and have powerful stories to tell. Capturing and sharing powerful stories of work in PHE policy and programming provides a strong advocacy tool for the PHE approach and complements research and evaluation data.
PHE Voices: Storytelling for PHE Advocacy
K4Health engaged with the PHE Ethiopia Consortium, a non-governmental organization with over 66 member organizations from health, environment, and livelihood sectors, to introduce in-country partners to knowledge management principles and storytelling techniques. We also sought to capture and tell powerful stories as part of a special “PHE Voices” series through Family Planning Voices (FP Voices).
K4Health staff facilitated a training entitled “Storytelling as a Knowledge Management Tool for Population, Health, and Environment (PHE) Advocacy.” The 30 participants were PHE implementers and practitioners, representing over 20 diverse organizations. Through this training, participants were introduced to the potential of knowledge management to improve their PHE work. We also provided participants with information and skills they can use to develop powerful stories for PHE advocacy.
In addition, K4Health photographed and interviewed more than 20 PHE stakeholders in Ethiopia, including policymakers, implementers, and beneficiaries. These PHE-specific stories, many touching on themes of gender, adolescence, resiliency, and integrative approaches, are being published on the FP Voices Tumblr site and FP2020/K4Health social media channels with a PHE-specific hashtag (#PHEVoices).