by Dr Blanche ANYA and Dr David BROWN
During 21-24 February 2017, representatives from Cameroon, Ethiopia, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda and Uganda gathered in Kampala, Uganda to rethink and improve their country’s current home-based record design and functionality as well as the broader system that supports the home-based record to address issues such as stock-outs described previously here. Participants not only walked away from the workshop with a new paper prototype of their improved home-based records (e.g., vaccination card, child health book) and an implementation plan to move forward, but they left the workshop with a conviction that addressing the needs of primary users ensures that the home-based record is valued by, and meaningful to, the intended users while also made available in the right place, at the right time and in the right quantity.
Following a user-centered approach, participants of the Africa workshop conducted pre-workshop activities that included health facility visits to talk with and observe caregivers and health workers, as well as to collect information to map out how their home-based records are prepared, produced, distributed and used. Participants brought this information,which was shared across country teams, as input to the cross-country workshop to help the teams think beyond usual assumptions and ground their decisions on actual observations rather than perception.
We encourage readers to take a quick read through the final workshop report available below.