“We have not seen this depth of community engagement in Congo, the process is as valuable as the outcomes”
Matchboxology is the Human Centered Design partner of Abt Associates in the USAID funded Integrated Health Programme (IHP) project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Communities and Zone de Santé (ZS) systems are rich with insights and ideas but the challenge in strengthening social behavior change is finding meaningful ways to translate these in sights and ideas into activities that the IHP and the Government of the DRC can implement. Our HCD emphasizes empathetic understanding and collaborative problem-solving to engage with health system stakeholders, looking at health worker and community (group and individual) barriers and motivators with a focus on health seeking behaviour in maternal and child health, malaria, tuberculosis, HIV, water/sanitation/ hygiene (WASH) family planning/reproductive health and nutrition.
The team engaged communities and local health system workers in Sud-Kivu, Tanganyika, Kasaï-Oriental, Haut- Lomami, Haut-Katanga and Lualaba Provinces. Facilitated discussions and interviews were held in work and general environments including clinics, government hospitals, NGO outreach and service facilities, community-based services facilities and most importantly in communities themselves. Each Province held a co-creation workshop with representatives from each of the sectors, with community participants including young women and men, traditional healers, pharma traders, community influencers and community leaders. Rich interactions fed intoa collective force that generated insights and SBCC solutions. The team has collected prototype creative content ideas and delivery mechanisms and completed first round evaluations and roll out. The solutions are practical, tailored and scalable activities on regional, provincial and community specific levels.
MBX is additionally starting work in provincial health zones to promote interpersonal skills development to ease the burden of health facility staff and improve client experiences and outcomes – a unique facility-shaped approach to team enhancement and personal skills building. MBX will train facilitators across all of the program provinces to work with facilities in each of the designated health zones to promote better facility experiences for clients and staff in resource challenged environments.