Featured Content

Springboard members share blogs on topics related to Springboard and their community of practice. Browse our recent posts below or view all articles.

  • Ethiopia CoP Discusses Engaging Men in Health

    The Ethiopia Springboard Community of Practice (CoP) met on March 17, 2017 to discuss engaging men in health. This meeting was a joint effort between the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP) and the Health Extension and Primary Health Service Directorate of the Ethiopia Ministry of Health.

    Simon Heliso introduces the CoP event.

    The meeting was designed to provide a forum for health communication professionals to exchange experiences, best practices and ideas related to current and emerging issues associated with gender programming and approaches that focus on engaging men. Simon Heliso, Country Representative and Chief of Party of CCP Ethiopia, kicked off the event, and welcomed the 38 participants who represented Leadership in Strategic Health Communication (LSHC) alumni and health communication practitioners in Ethiopia. Jane Brown, Team Leader/Program Director at CCP, presented on current and emerging issues associated with gender programming and approaches that focus on engaging men. The current working definition of male engagement was noted as the constructive involvement of men and boys in reproductive health programs and clients, supportive partners and agents of change. She discussed the principles of male engagement, including: ensuring women’s needs and rights are incorporated, starting early, cultivating safe and supportive environments for engagement, employing gender transformative approaches and working with both men and women. She then highlighted some lessons learned and best practices from Uganda and South Africa approaches in engaging men. For example, she shared insights from Brothers for Life, a campaign launched in South Africa in 2009 to address the risks associated with multiple and concurrent partnerships, sex and alcohol abuse, and gender based violence and which also promoted HIV testing, male involvement in prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) and other health seeking behaviors.

    Tasema Firdissa discusses the importance of engaging men.

    Tasema Firdissa, Program Officer from JSI’s Last Ten Kilometers (L10K) Project, then discussed Family Conversations, a facilitated dialogue among family members to support pregnant women towards safe delivery that have shown improvement on maternal and newborn health (MNH) care indicators. He shared recent experience reaching men through Husbands Conversations – a new effort to engage husbands of pregnant mothers to support mothers during pregnancy and caring for the child. Male Primary Health Care Unit (PHCU) staff and “Kabele” level workers use a facilitation guide to discuss topics such as family health, stories of positive deviants and their families, and joint planning. Finally, Joseph Matalanga of the Africa Springboard Secretariat facilitated a discussion about Springboard, sharing the value and benefits to members, talking about overcoming perceived obstacles to engagement and providing an overview of the virtual platform. Attendees agreed that they will strive to share available personal and organizational resources in accordance to individual’s organizational policies and procedures. The next Springboard Community of Practice event will be hosted by the International Institute for Primary Health Care in Ethiopia. Stay tuned for more information!

    Participants at the Ethiopia CoP event.

  • First Formal Springboard Learning Event Held in Cairo

    (First posted February 20, 2017 on the HC3 blog.) More than 125 students, faculty and staff attended the first formal Springboard for Health Communication learning event Feb. 20 at Modern Sciences and Art (MSA) University in Cairo. The event was sponsored by the Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) in Egypt and MSA, a private university in the city.

    HC3 Capacity Implementation Director Uttara Bharath Kumar presenting at the Springboard learning event in Cairo, Egypt

    The two-hour event featured a guest presentation by HC3 Capacity Implementation Director Uttara Bharath Kumar and Program Officer Trish Davis titled “Communication: Why is it important to your work?” Attendees represented various schools within the University including pharmacy, engineering, mass communication, dentistry and medicine/health.

    Attendees of the Springboard learning event in Cairo, Egypt

    The presentation gave attendees an overview of how strategic communication can be used to improve health outcomes. They were also linked to relevant HC3 tools and resources such as the Health COMpass and Springboard, an online community of social and behavior change communication professionals. Laptops were made available immediately after the event for registration on the Springboard platform. Visit Springboard to see updates on the launch in Egypt as well as other posts from Springboard members across the globe.
  • Integrating Social Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) in Health Service Delivery

    The Kenya Health Communication Network, in collaboration with the Africa Capacity Alliance, held a learning event on February 8 to learn about available tools that can be utilized in the integration of SBCC and health service delivery. The event was attended by forty two (42) SBCC practitioners based in Nairobi and beyond. Katherine Holmsen, the Capacity Strengthening Director for the Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) Project at Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Program, presented at the event and shared the Integrating SBCC into Service Delivery Programs Implementation Kit (I-Kit). The I-Kit is designed to help users understand key service communication concepts, apply SBCC techniques to create successful communication activities, and learn how to better coordinate efforts with SBCC projects. One key area covered in the I-Kit are factors that support provider performance. Katherine spoke about four factors: expectation, ability, opportunity and attitudes/motivation. Participants discussed factors that influence the behavior of facility based providers, including self-esteem issues, lack of focus on customers, lack of confidentiality and judgmental attitudes and beliefs. Katherine acknowledged that Community Health Workers (CHWs) play a key role in integrating SBCC in health service delivery, but can also hinder its implementation in service delivery due to high demand, understaffing and workplace culture. Its important to motivate CHWs to contribute to the integration of SBCC in health service delivery through factors such as perceived status and social support, self-efficiency and improved work environments. The two hour interactive session created an opportunity for participants to contribute and share experiences. Attendees such as Tom Ngaragari and Janice Njoroge appreciated the educative nature of the session and noted that the learning experience offered valuable insights. Noah Amrono added that this is the gap that has been missing to ensure effective information sharing, as well as influencing decision makers and key stakeholders in the health sector.
  • Ethiopia CoP discusses SBCC programs and approaches

    The Ethiopia Springboard Community of Practice (CoP) attended a half-day workshop on February 6, 2017. The workshop covered critically examining existing social and behavior change communication (SBCC) programs and approaches and measuring SBCC interventions. 45 participants attended the workshop from the federal Ministry of Health, regional Health Bureaus and implementing agencies such as USAID. Dr. Benjamin Lozare, Director for Training and Capacity Building at Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP) presented at the workshop. Based on a survey of interests with attendees, Dr. Lozare spoke about:
    • Tools and systems to measure behavioral impacts
    • Communicating behavioral interventions and results
    • Tailoring traditional and cultural values with specific health messages
    • Attribution vs. contribution of behavior change interventions
    • SBCC interventions and best fit framework/model selection strategies and approaches
    Amrita Gill Bailey, CCP team leader, also attended and shared the Catalog of Project Tools and Resources for Social and Behavior Change Communication, compiled by the Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) project. The tools in the catalog are designed for SBCC capacity strengthening, implementation, research, monitoring and evaluation. Throughout the workshop, interactive discussions with participants offered different perspectives on approaches to and measuring SBCC interventions.

    Dr. Ben Lozare leads an interactive discussion at the February 6 Ethiopia CoP meeting

    Participants at the Ethiopia CoP meeting.


Springboard highlights members periodically to acknowledge their contributions to the site. Browse our recent posts below or view all Member Spotlights.

  • Member Spotlight – Ayodele John Alonge, University of Ibadan

    “Springboard has really provided [a] platform to be more informed about health related communication.”

    – Ayodele John Alonge, University of Ibadan 

    Ayodele John Alonge specializes in health communication, health information systems and health information management. He is particularly interested in health communication in the area of HIV/AIDS. Ayodele earned a Bachelor Degree in Library and Information Studies and a Masters Degree in Publishing and Copyright Studies from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He now works at the University of Ibadan as an Emerging Technology Librarian, where he is in charge of research and application of new technologies to use for information and education resources management. Ayodele is also a CARTA PhD Fellow at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Nairobi, Kenya. In this program, he conducts research on the use of social media for HIV/AIDS communication amount young people. This research will lead to his PhD in Communication and Information. Ayodele uses Springboard to stay up to date on trends in health communication and to interact with health information and communication professionals around the world. He says Springboard has been an invaluable platform to be more informed about health related communication and has supported his doctoral research. In his free time, Ayodele enjoys listening to soft rock and country music. He also writes and reads poems. Springboard highlights members periodically to acknowledge their contributions to the site.
  • Member Spotlight – Mahmudul Hasan, Centre for Injury Prevention and Research Bangladesh

    “I use Springboard to exchange ideas, practice and information with professionals from all sectors to improve my project and to learn together.”

    – Mahmudul Hasan, Centre for Injury Prevention and Research Bangladesh 

      Mahmudul Hasan is passionate about creating positive social change in Bangladesh by empowering people with essential information. He specializes in communicating the right message to the right person at the right time through the right channel. As a Communications Specialist at Centre for Injury Prevention and Research Bangladesh (CIPRB), Mahmudul works to reduce injury fatalities and morbidities. He previously worked in communications for USAID’s Justice for All Program, World Vision Bangladesh and Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh. He attended Islamic University and earned a Masters of Arts in English. Mahmudul understands the importance of social and behavior change communication (SBCC) and applies it across his work. While at World Vision Bangladesh, he participated in a recent SBCC project focused on hygiene and sanitation promotions. He’s currently using SBCC tools at CIPRB to reduce drownings in Bangladesh. Mahmudul thinks Springboard is a great site to share learning and resources. He uses Springboard to exchange ideas, practice and information with professionals from all sectors. It helps him improve his projects and he enjoys learning from other Springboard members. In his free time, Mahmudul enjoys spending time with friends. He also stays up to date with recent technology that can be used for communications, media relations and public relations. Springboard highlights members periodically to acknowledge their contributions to the site.
  • Member Spotlight – Davinah Nabirye, FHI360

    “[Springboard] is a platform​ that I use to disseminate information…. Many times I also learn about other health initiatives by participating in or reviewing discussions on the group.”

    – Davinah Nabirye, FHI360

    Davinah Nabirye works in Kampala, Uganda as a Knowledge Manager for FHI360. She supports the Communication for Healthy Communities (CHC) project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). CHC designs and implements quality health communication interventions to contribute to reduction in HIV infection, total fertility, maternal and child mortality, malnutrition, malaria and tuberculosis. In this role, Davinah recently helped implement CHC’s OBULAMU integrated health campaign, which translates to “How’s Life?” The campaign chose to use this popular Ugandan greeting as it goes beyond standard “good” or “bad” responses and enables responders to give details about life context, feelings and emotions. The OBULAMU campaign is designed to make health an integral part of people’s daily lives, making it easy to talk about health issues relevant to the audience’s context. Additionally, the campaign seeks to address barriers to behavior change head-on with questions instead of messages and offers skills building to engage in dialogue and turn the dialogue into action. Davinah earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication from Makerere University in Uganda. She is currently pursuing an online Knowledge Management Practitioners’ Certification Course offered by Center for Conscious Living Foundation (CCFLI) and is studying Transformation Leadership through the Harvest Institute.

    Davinah uses Springboard to disseminate information, especially on activities under the OBULAMU platform. She also learns about other health initiatives by participating in or reviewing discussions. She’s also grateful that the forum has connected her to people promoting health that she wouldn’t have otherwise known!

    Davinah is active in her church and belongs to a mission community that seeks to transform communities through love. She loves to climb hills and mountains, and in 2016 she climbed Mt. Elgon in Uganda and Mt. Nyirangogo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with the Mountain Slayers Uganda. She’s also an avid reader. Springboard highlights members periodically to acknowledge their contributions to the site.
  • Member Spotlight – Virginia Williams, New View Media, LLC

    “Springboard has helped me collaborate with professionals from all sectors and exchange ideas, research and information to improve my projects.”

    – Virginia Williams, New View Media, LLC

      picture2-2Virginia Williams is a Senior Advisor for Social Behavior Change, Strategic, and Advocacy Communications, focusing on women’s protection and empowerment, maternal and reproductive health, tobacco control and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). Virginia works for New View Media, LLC, a consulting business in social marketing, advocacy and behavior change communications. Virginia is based in San Francisco, California but travels frequently, following her projects around the world. Recently, Virginia worked in Northern Karamoja, Uganda as a Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) Advisor for the Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University and Save the Children. This project used a community theater arts solution to build greater fertility awareness, with the goal of increasing uptake of family planning and healthy timing and spacing of pregnancy among low-literacy audiences. Virginia has a BA in Journalism/Communications at the University of South Florida and an MA in Film and Media Arts at American University. She began working in SBCC after producing the media component of social marketing campaigns – she says she acquired “the ‘science’ of behavior change through mentorship and practice.” Virginia uses Springboard to exchange ideas, research and information with professionals from all sectors to improve her projects. She appreciates the resources available and particularly enjoys the themed discussions on specific areas related to SBCC! Virginia is an avid hiker and a big film lover. She is currently developing a screenplay set in South Africa on wildlife poaching and trafficking.   Springboard highlights members periodically to acknowledge their contributions to the site.