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In Jamaica, C-Change Introduces Participatory Methods of Building Consensus and Developing Materials

Friday, January 7, 2011

C-Change partnered with Ministry of Health and civil society organizations in Jamaica in July 2010 to strengthen and scale up social and behavior change communication (SBCC) programs and interventions for most-at-risk populations (MARPs): sex workers and men who have sex with men (MSM), two groups considered most at risk of contracting and transmitting HIV. In November and December 2010, the project hosted workshops that introduced two participatory, consensus-building methodologies: Action Media and Visualization in Participation Programs (VIPP).

The Action Media workshops involved open dialogues and materials development activities with groups of 15 to 20 sex workers, MSM, and community educators and outreach workers. After building trust, the workshops focused on the conceptual development of communication resources. Findings, now being shared with stakeholders, are informing materials and messages being developed for these groups. The VIPP workshop built skills in participatory planning of representatives of Ministry of Health and 13 organizations working with MARPs. Participants learned how to use the methodology in their HIV prevention work and became comfortable with the highly participatory process and its numerous tools. They saw how VIPP can be used to improve their strategic planning and training interventions, build consensus, and foster high levels of involvement in national and organizational plans and group activities.

VIPP workshop in Jamaica

Intended outcomes for the workshops include effective, harmonized messages and materials; greater levels of stakeholder agreement on strategy development; and more policymaker engagement in programs and interventions for MARPs. A more immediate outcome is a VIPP presentation that two workshop participants are currently developing for technical working groups of the Ministry of Health and UNFPA. See Where We Work/Jamaica for additional information about C-Change activities.

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