KIT has been leading the Dutch contribution to the ‘We Care’ project in Bangladesh since the project began in 2019.
Our SRHR team has helped develop an interactive training curriculum to equip Family Welfare Visitors (FWV), Family Welfare Assistants, Sub-Assistant Medical Officers (SACMOs), and their supervisors with the knowledge, skills, and motivation to provide inclusive sexual and reproductive health services for vulnerable populations.
We Care began in mid-2019 with funding from the Nuffic Orange Knowledge Programme. The project aimed to better equip FWV, FWA, SACMOs, and their supervisors to deliver inclusive SRHR services at the union level and in communities and schools in Bangladesh. Specifically, to equip these health workers and their supervisors to deliver SRH(R) information and services to young people, people with disabilities, indigenous peoples, and other vulnerable people
We Care is a partnership between KIT, the National Institute of Population Research and Training (NIPORT), the Directorate General of Family Planning (DGFP) in Bangladesh, Red Orange, Rutgers, and Niketan.
Innovative materials to make SRHR more inclusive
Historically, marginalised communities and vulnerable people have been left out of discussions on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). The interactive, inclusive, and evidence-informed SRHR curricula developed within the project for FWVs, FWAs, SACMOs, and their supervisors are meant to address this. They contain case studies, role-play scenarios, and other activities focused on the specific SRHR needs of people with disabilities, young people, and indigenous peoples.
The curricula provide approaches to improve SRHR information and service provision to these groups. The curriculum for the supervisors was focussed on strengthening their knowledge and competencies around sexual reproductive health and rights and their supportive supervision skills toward an inclusive approach.
Besides the curricula for facilitators and handbooks for participants, different materials were developed throughout the project to equip the various health cadres with the required skills. These included PowerPoint presentations, animation films (like the ones featured above), videos, an activity package for use in classrooms, and pictograms that help health workers to communicate better with people with disabilities.
Roll-out of these interactive curricula throughout Bangladesh
Since March 2023 these curricula have become integrated into the government training system for these cadres. Moreover, We Care has also developed interactive sexual and reproductive health activities that the SACMOs conduct in schools for classes 6 – 10 as part of school education programmes. These interactive activities help to make the existing lecture-based curriculum more effective, as the sessions now also focus on building skills and internalising the knowledge of these students instead of only on knowledge transfer.
To successfully roll out the curricula, We Care trained 167 master trainers on the use of the interactive approaches and to provide mentoring and coaching support to each other when doing so.
We are very pleased that in March 2023, following this, the first batch of 240 FWVs and 400 FWAs were trained based on these curricula by the master trainers. NIPORT will train another 700 FWVs and 1000 FWAs spread over the entire country between 2023 and 2024.
In addition, NIPORT will train 50 supervisors based on the interactive and inclusive supervisory curriculum in the coming year. And, the SACMOs implemented 120 interactive sessions, between March and June 2023, on the basis of the We Care activities in schools and will continue doing so in the years to come.