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HIV and AIDS Advocacy and Communication, UNICEF Bangladesh

A good facilitator enables members of the group to work effectively in addressing pertinent issues.

VIPP methods were used extensively within the HIV and AIDS Prevention Project-Advocacy and Communication Components (HAPP-ACC) of UNICEF Bangladesh to create common understanding of issues related to HIV and AIDS and ensure involvement of all stakeholders regarding the development of strategic communication designs. About 50 NGOs participated in a series of 12 workshops involving over 400 participants for communication planning; advocacy and qualitative research skills development; designing field research; development of entertainment-education materials; training of trainers in life skills for Adolescent Reproductive Health (ARH) programmes; training of peer educators on life skills; and message content development of folk, local and mass media on HIV and AIDS. Three examples are given below. The participants for these workshops were very diverse – NGO workers, government officials, adolescents, media representatives, including local and folk media performers and peers of vulnerable groups such as male sex workers/males having sex with males, brothel based sex workers, street based sex workers, hotel based sex workers, residence based sex workers, people living with HIV and AIDS and injecting drug users.

Social and behavioural network workshops

It was crucial for the project to actively involve diverse groups of stakeholders in the planning and development processes of various approaches that focused on issues related to behaviour change and behaviour development so as to foster wider partnerships. Capacity building of NGOs was another important aspect of the project. In order to ensure full engagement of participants, VIPP was used in two social and behavioural network workshops to train field workers on the key principles of in-depth exploratory investigations with vulnerable groups on risk perceptions and behaviours/practices regarding sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. The outcomes of these workshops were empowerment of the participants to develop a set of tools and learn to use them in the field, as well as to design their own research to collect relevant information from the vulnerable populations.

In the first workshop, the participants came from the vulnerable groups as mentioned above, as well as from NGO programmes and research groups. In the second workshop, the participants were comprised of internal migrants: rickshaw pullers, truck drivers, young women crossing borders, garment workers, fish-processing workers, tea-garden workers, external migrants, tannery workers, ethnic minorities, construction workers, as well as NGO programmers and researchers.

In order to maximize learning it was important to bring the participants to a common “wave length” on some key concepts, such as what they understood by sexual health; situations that can make people more vulnerable to HIV infection, identifying risk behaviours, etc. They were also asked to develop a common framework for social and behavioural networks, in order to identify the people with whom the members of the vulnerable groups were connected, socially and otherwise, and those who would influence their behaviour regarding risks of HIV and sexually transmitted infections.

The main methods used were visualised presentations, brainstorming, small group work, buzz groups, drawing games, plenary discussions, visualised discussions, role plays, fish bowl, warm-ups and energizers, feedback committee and final evaluation. Cards and flip charts were used. The main challenge was to effectively engage such diverse participants – some of whom were semi-literates or non-literates. VIPP encouraged participants to actively engage in the group processes and enabled them to express their ideas in effective ways through the use of various participatory techniques. In the case of non- or semi-literates, the drawing games and role plays proved to be very useful. In the first workshop, with the help of paper charts and markers, the participants did a mapping of the actual locations of brothels and the spots where the sex workers and the IDUs connected with their primary social contacts– clients, police, drug dealers, service providers, etc.

VIPP methods democratized the group processes and ensured full participation by everyone even though they came from very different social strata. Energizers, fish bowl, drawing exercises and small group work helped to facilitate the inclusion of different opinions, leading to strong team work as people felt less threatened. The various VIPP methods also relieved participants from the monotony of listening to many speeches. The most important thing was that they learned with much enjoyment and from each other by being able to contribute from their own experiences.

Training of facilitators and peer educators working with adolescents on life skills
Participants at this workshop on adolescence reproductive health start by exchanging adolescent experiences.

The participants for this workshop were adolescent peers of street vendors, street-based female sex workers, garment workers, out-of-school youth, in-school youth, college youth, street children, trainers of peer educators and NGO programme managers.

Based on the needs of the participants, and to ensure inclusion of all in the process, the VIPP methods which were used were drawing exercises, buzz groups, small group work, role plays, mini-drama, plenary discussions, visualised presentations, and energizers. To check participants' understanding and reactions to the processes each day, feedback committees were used. For final assessment of the workshop, a participatory evaluation method was utilized. The trainees felt empowered as the process of the workshop maximized participation. All voices were heard and the creative processes helped the adolescent participants to learn techniques of participatory facilitation and to work well with adult programme managers and trainers.

Effective use of folk and local media

Programmers working with people living with HIV and AIDS and sex workers, developing a mass media, local media and folk media strategy, Bangladesh.

Two workshops were conducted with key representatives involved with mass, folk and local media. The main objectives of these workshops were to collectively develop a mechanism for appropriate and effective use of mass, folk and local media for HIV prevention; identifying main themes and major contents of messages to be promoted through these media, how to control quality of performance and messages, guidelines for training of performers, selection criteria for performers, developing strategic communication plans for mass, folk and local media, and designing interventions, and monitoring and assessment criteria for interventions. The participants were folk/local media activists, representatives of the vulnerable groups, madams of brothels, media representatives (TV and print) and NGO programmers.

The methods used were visualised presentations, issue-based songs and dances, plenary discussions, drawings, small group work, card collection and clustering, energizers and warm-ups, buzz group, information market, feedback committee and evaluation.

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Planning and revising projects and programmes
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Management, human resource planning and team building
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Diversity (gender, cultural, racial, socio-economic)
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