The program developed a knowledge management system to learn from, prove, showcase and share the value added of an integrated PHE approach.
Identifying, documenting and synthesizing knowledge
Learning by practical experience was at the center of the BALANCED Project, which closed in September 2013. The learning goal was to provide evidence for the value of the PHE approach, showcase gold standard field projects and demonstrate how these fit into a larger donor focus on equity, food security, poverty alleviation and climate change. The project capturef learned and best practices by vetting field-site experiences to understand how results compare with goals and objectives. Learning originated from both failures and successes; targeted research; lessons from published PHE articles, reports, manuals,and training curricula; south-south exchanges to draw-out tacit knowledge; concept maps to analyze PHE linkages, feedback loops and value-added; and social network analyses to map critical nodes, pioneers, leaders and actors that bridge different groups.
Organizing existing and new knowledge
Documents, reports and data from field experiences, capacity building and learning activities were organized and collated along with materials made available by the PHE community and the clearinghouse at www.ehproject.org/phe/phe.html. Information synthesis as well as storage and retrieval procedures were developed in close collaboration with the USAID Global Health/Population and Reproductive Health group’s knowledge management project.
Sharing knowledge within the PHE community and beyond
The project built on and support PHE existing networks to create a global PHE community of practice and foster south-south learning. The donor community was a special target audience. A key message was that successful PHE programs are more likely to create resilient communities. That is, communities are better prepared to meet the challenges of climate change, to better manage natural resources, to put in place basic-health systems, to protect livelihoods and to implement family planning and reproductive health initiatives through the PHE approach, which empowers women.
Using lessons learned to adapt PHE field initiatives
The project sought to improve PHE activities implemented in the Philippines, Madagascar and Tanzania. Annual self assessment workshops vetted the extent to which the field activities were able to meet expected first, second and third order outcomes and promoted understanding of what works, does not work and why. Proven tools and best practices were adopted within the field sites based on the experience generated through the broader PHE community of practice.
Value added outcomes of PHE approaches identified through targeted research
The project developed protocols for targeted research activities in project sites and learning activities captured and documented the value-added elements of the project’s PHE approach.