Boost Community ~ 2021 Annual Report
In 2021, a year of significant challenges brought by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Boost and partners strengthened their commitment to provide opportunities for immunization professionals to build their capacity and learn from their peers. The impact of this work can be seen in the growth of the overall community and in the breadth of the ways that members have engaged with our programming and one another.
Boost Total Reach
- 54.6% increase in active Boost members – From 1200 activated profiles in Q4 2020 to 1855 activated profiles in Q4 2021
- Top 5 countries represented, excluding implementing partners: Nigeria, Kenya, India, Ghana, and Pakistan
- 8% increase in countries represented – From 123 countries in Q4 2020 to 133 countries in Q4 2021
Keeping the voices and perspectives of immunization professionals at the center of Boost’s work is critically important and directly informs our approach. Initiatives such as the quarterly Boost Insights Group (BIG) workshop provide a space where Boost can learn from its members to improve its support to the community. During these workshops, Boost engages community members in a series of discussions to listen and gain insights that guide current and future Boost programming.
Developing opportunities for peer-to-peer engagement has been crucial in expanding our impact and reach. As part of Boost’s online platform, learning groups serve as a hub for discussions around topic- specific courses, alumni programs and more. In 2021, Boost developed 10 new learning groups with more than 1,500 members. Within these intimate virtual spaces, Boost members ask questions of their peers, share their own experiences and crowdsource best practices to common and emerging challenges from both their peers and experts. In addition to the learning groups, the Boost Community channel on Telegram allows for real-time engagement with members as well as an avenue to share news and events with each other.
“I feel value in being able to connect with people with different kinds of experiences and expertise, though the contexts are different- the problems and challenges we face are the same…”
– Boost Community Member (Sub-National level, Ghana)
2021 Boost Community Platform and Communication Statistics
2197 email subscribers; 593 members across 6 Telegram chats; 208 Boost LinkedIn followers
71,318 unique Boost platform page views
13,164 visitors to the platform
Knowledge and Learning
One of Boost’s key outputs is to deliver specific blended learning opportunities for immunization professionals to gain knowledge and skills that will strengthen core competencies, particularly in relation to leadership, advocacy, and problem-solving capacities. Learning opportunities such as courses, webinars, interactive workshops, and small group discussions facilitate engaging and meaningful exchange among Boost members.
In 2021 alone, Boost offered 33 unique learning opportunities for immunization professionals. Nine of those learning opportunities were live multi-part courses, resulting in 75 total live engagements hosted by Boost in 2021, with 3,755 participants counted over all of courses, workshops, and other learning opportunities.
To ensure these learning opportunities are relevant to the community, Boost conducts post-session and post-course surveys to better understand the usefulness of these offerings, skills participants learned, and how those skills will be implemented in their day-to-day work.
- 686 survey responses were generated from post-course and other program surveys
- 96% of survey responses indicated that the participant agreed or strongly agreed that the learning opportunities increased their knowledge and skills on specific topics
Bright Spots & Sparks
In an ongoing effort to shine a light on voices of innovation and adaptability in the immunization sector,
Boost supports a storytelling initiative called Bright Spots, which surfaces different aspects of immunization campaigns and programs – from sharing fully executed projects with successful results to highlighting quick lessons learned from the field. In 2021, 11 Bright Spots were published on a dedicated website and disseminated throughout the Boost Community. Moreover, Boost offered opportunities for its members to connect with story submitters during monthly live engagements.
In 2021, Boost launched Sparks, a spotlight series that surfaces elements of real-time immunization activities or programs that demonstrate innovation or adaptability. This series focuses on unique or impactful solutions during pivotal moments that result in the increase of equitable vaccine access and demand in communities all over the world. Five Sparks were published in 2021, covering topics from using storytelling to combat vaccine hesitancy in Kaduna State, Nigeria to launching a national communications campaign in Cameroon for World Immunization Week 2021 .
Boost’s Core Offerings
The Adaptive Leadership and Community Organizing programs offered by Boost, in partnership with Adaptive Change Advisors and People Power Health respectively, aim to respond to the complex, non-technical challenges faced by immunization professionals, such as having a difficult conversation with a community member around vaccine hesitancy or raising a concern to your boss or colleague.
“The shift from community mobilization to community activation was an interesting topic. Vaccination is usually done by visiting the vaccination sites to convince people to take up vaccines. However, the importance of sensitizing the community to understand their responsibility in the vaccination process and owning the process by visiting the vaccination sites on their own is equally important.”
– Course Participant, Cameroon
These foundational building blocks use approaches such as mapping key stakeholders and storytelling to address such challenges. Alumni from the Adaptive Leadership and Community Organizing introductory courses include more than 260 participants and form a core part of the Boost network – with many members of this group active across community engagements.
“The [Adaptive Leadership] course developed my leadership skills; I learned the difference between leadership and authority. The skills I gained have helped me to support the technical committee on COVID-19 vaccination in Nigeria.”
– Course Participant, Nigeria
A New Fellowship
In mid-2021, Boost partnered with People Power Health and Adaptive Change Advisors to offer a virtual fellowship for a select number of Boost members who participated in previous Boost programming related to adaptive leadership, community building and storytelling, consisting of two parts. The first part was a 14-week, Advanced Training in Community Activation, focused on building, developing and deepening the cohort’s leadership skills for advocacy and community organizing, spanning from May – September 2021. This advanced training focused on strengthening collaboration and leadership capacity to achieve specific advocacy and community activation goals and improve immunization efforts. Twenty Boost members completed the training and developed a capstone project, which consisted of instructional live engagements; the capstone series attracted 563 registrants and 199 active participants. The second part, an Adaptive Leadership Train-the-Trainer Workshop, focused on mastering adaptive leadership skills through experiential, didactive and self-reflective activities. Nineteen Boost members completed the intensive three-day workshop in mid-September.
“I can share a personal example that after 20 years of my career, I was marked an “Not Applicable” in leadership for my performance appraisal. Had I not taken this course, I think I would have been very demotivated as I used to see leadership as something that comes with certain years of experience, progressive responsibilities, designations, etc. After taking the course, I am more aware of how each of us is a leader and each of us can make others leaders too.”
– Course Participant, India
Throughout the year, Boost also launched several new programs, initiatives and opportunities for its members including:
COVID-19 Listening & Learning Series
In response to the ongoing introduction of COVID-19 vaccines, Boost launched the COVID-19 Listening and Learning Series in April 2021, a platform for immunization professionals as well as others involved in COVID-19 vaccine delivery to share their perspectives on COVID-19 vaccine introduction with particular emphasis on transferable lessons learned. This listening series and complementary podcast – launched in August 2021 – enabled more effective and efficient response to COVID-19 vaccine introduction by sharing tools and processes shown to work.
In 2021, the COVID-19 Listening & Learning series featured:
- 5 live engagements, including:
- 277 attendees
- 254 YouTube views
- 5 podcast episodes with:
- 2,252 unique downloads from
- 109 countries
Supported by the Sabin Vaccine Institute and Bay Area Global Health Alliance, Insights Dialogue is an initiative of the Alliance for Advancing Health Online (AAHO) designed to advance into practice research findings and learnings on how to best use social media and digital platforms to address vaccine acceptance and demand. Insights Dialogue features an open access website with curated resources support the global health community to integrate social media into their immunization programming. Additionally, the initiative is convening a series of live, virtual events and hosting podcasts with global experts and immunization professionals from lower middle-income countries to unearth challenges and identify opportunities for social media to support stronger vaccine uptake. The first two live convenings were held in 2021, with 119 attendees and 198 YouTube views. A dedicated Boost Learning Group was developed to share these learnings, resources and events with the Boost community.
Global Mass Vaccination Site Collaborative
The Global Mass Vaccination Site Collaborative (GMVSC) is a joint initiative led by the Boost Community and Ariadne Labs, aimed at providing live programming, resources, accessible tools and experts to assist staff as they plan for and begin operationalization of mass vaccination sites in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). In addition to an open access website, the collaborative features a Boost Learning Group, with up-to-date information on upcoming live events and resources related to mass vaccination site operations. All activities of the GMVSC were informed through input from the Boost community, including surveys to determine foundational pillars for the initiative. The first live engagement of the GMVSC was held in 2021; this event had 143 individuals register to participate.
COLLABORATION AND PARTNERSHIPS
Effective partnerships are a key component of Boost strategy for impact and sustainability of the community. The role of Boost within the immunization ecosystem is unique. Boost provides a platform so that the voices of its core membership – especially members at the sub-national level – are heard and championed, while also helping to gather important perspectives that can inform the work of partners. This feedback loop is a critical component of Boost and allows for responsive feedback.
In 2021, Boost collaborated with 19 partners to develop content, implement activities and continually respond to the needs of the immunization community.
“…Our success in working together is because we have common interest in the areas we are implementing and the fact that Boost and partners worked together in identifying needs of the target groups brought about the synergy between them…”
– Key Partner
OUTCOME AND IMPACT
Boost ensures that immunization professionals are provided opportunities to access relevant and useful knowledge to help them improve their practice at various levels.
According to course surveys, Boost members reported that they have improved their leadership, supportive supervision, communication and problem-solving skills, along with their ability to navigate uncertainty and exercise leadership, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2021, course and other learning opportunity survey responses were overwhelmingly positive:
agreed or strongly agreed that they plan to use what they learned in their work
agreed or strongly agreed that the learning opportunities were relevant to their work
agreed or strongly agreed that they would recommend the learning opportunities to their colleagues
agreed or strongly agreed that they would be interested in additional learning opportunities offered by Boost
Boost is designed to meet the needs of both national and sub-national immunization professionals, facilitating the development of their leadership skills and empowering members to advocate on behalf of themselves and their programs. As the community expands and the immunization landscape changes, Boost recognizes the importance of being adaptive to changes and strives to provide the most useful resources for its community.
The Boost team will continue to meet with and survey members on a regular basis to gain insights and perspectives about the value and relevance of engagements, courses, and other activities in terms of meeting community needs.
Building on the momentum from 2021, we are excited to continue to provide support to our growing community of almost 2,000 immunization professionals. We are grateful for your participation and collaboration in the Boost Community, and we look forward to serving you in 2022 and beyond.