2022 Quarter 3 Highlights
Every few months, we share highlights and updates from the Boost community, as well as the latest community numbers and statistics. These updates are a great opportunity to review some of what the Boost community has been up to over the past quarter and link through to more in-depth information and opportunities.
COVID-19 Recovery for Routine Immunization Programs Fellowship
In May, Boost partnered with the World Health Organization (WHO) to offer a fellowship program for national and sub-national immunization staff to support them as they plan and implement activities for the recovery and strengthening of their countries’ immunization programs.
The first phase of this fellowship started with a eight-part live virtual learning engagement series, and also included development of a proposal for a strategic plan or publication. In total, more than 1,200 immunization professionals from 97 countries were accepted into the fellowship program with an average of 494 participants per live session. The second phase of the fellowship launched this quarter, as a group of applicants who completed the live engagement series and proposal process were selected to receive 1:1 mentoring support by immunization experts from the conceptual stage of a project idea through implementation. This inaugural cohort of mentees will be advised and supported through the end of 2022.
Gender & Immunization: Opportunities for Action
From June to July 2022, Boost partnered with the USAID-funded MOMENTUM Routine Immunization Transformation and Equity project to convene a four-week virtual short-course on gender and immunization with the goal of increasing immunization professionals’ competencies and confidence around planning and developing gender-aware and -transformative activities to improve equity in immunization.
During this course, participants learned how to identify and address gender-related barriers to immunization efforts. Out of 214 active participants, 90 participants completed all requirements – which included attending every session and submitting weekly homework assignments – to earn a certificate of completion and demonstrating their readiness to join a growing cadre of committed and capable professionals working to recognize and reduce gender-related barriers to equitable immunization.
Storytelling for Change
Boost and People Power Health partnered together to create this 5-week self-paced online (via mobile phone) course in English and French. Storytelling for Change is grounded in the practice of social movements and activism and provides an opportunity to learn new skills in developing stories that inspire others to join us in taking action. This course is opened to new cohorts a few times a year. In Q3, a cohort of Storytelling for Change ran from July – August 2022.
Listen as Musa Joushua Aboi, a sub-national field monitor who supervises 52 health facilities across Kaduna State, Nigeria, shares how he applied the skills he learned from the Storytelling for Change course to reach vaccine-hesitant health workers in his community.
Advanced Training in Community Activation
During the first half of 2022, members of Boost’s Advanced Training for Community Activation participated in intensive workshops and small group meetings with the goal of recognizing and analyzing opportunities for advocacy and community organizing in their work and preparing to become Boost Community Champions.
As part of this inaugural cohort’s capstone projects, they hosted a series of live engagements on the topic of community activation. Each event was led by a different team of Boost Community Champions, who developed and designed these interactive sessions to share different concepts related to community building and engagement, share about their experiences being part of the Boost Community and invite fellow immunization professionals to become more involved. Teams presented their work in live sessions throughout July and August.
Vaccination Action Network
The Vaccination Action Network (VAN) an Africa-led action-oriented collaborative that has brought together vaccination leaders and senior public health officials to solve the toughest challenges in improving COVID-19 vaccine demand and uptake across Africa. The Vaccination Action Network provides a space for learning and peer exchange among immunization practitioners, focusing on demand-related challenges, best practices, and lessons learned that are specific to the local context.
Recent meetings of the VAN Cross-Country Peer Learning Network in July, August, and September focused on building trust with community-based health workers, engaging religious leaders, and addressing the challenge of low risk-perception.
Insights Dialogue is an initiative of the Alliance for Advancing Health Online (AAHO) designed to share research and evidence on how to best use social media and digital platforms to address vaccine confidence. A dedicated microsite hosts more than 150 curated, relevant and practical resources, including peer-reviewed publications, tools and toolkits, and program and policy briefs.
Earlier this year, Insights Dialogue hosted a series of convenings exploring how social media and digital engagement has been used to increase vaccine uptake across contexts, including events focused on building vaccine confidence for adolescents and youth, social media listening for improved vaccine acceptance, vaccine chatbots, and more. On August 9, Insights Dialogue held an event focusing on Using Social Media to Increase Vaccine Confidence in Marginalized and Underserved Communities.