Population & Health Materials Working Group: Minutes of Meeting Friday, May 9, 1997 Family Health International Research Triangle Park, NC

Translation Glossary Update & Promotion
The newest version of the glossary was distributed by Brenda Rudder of FHI. It currently contains 1,900 entries. It includes preferred terms for each participating organization and synonyms, where applicable. It will be updated annually in the print form and quarterly in the electronic version. The electronic version works with word processing software. It uses software called Multiterm, which costs about $400 for a single user version, more for network versions. Notes fields could be used to explain variations. Anyone interested in pursuing these options should contact Brenda Rudder at FHI. If there are organizations who should receive a copy of the glossary and haven’t, please contact Brenda.

FHI will make a decision about the costs involved in distributing the glossary to a wider audience and write up a description of the glossary to send to reproductive health publications and translators’ organizations. The list of publications will be posted permanently on the web site to be used by PHMWG members for promoting and publicizing any materials. The URL for the list is: http://www.med.jhu.edu/contacts.htm. If you would like to add any contacts to the list, contact Peggy D’Adamo or Gretl Cox.

PHMWG Home Page

  • Web Site Usage Statistics
    For detailed usage statistics for the pages mounted on the JHU computer, see http://www.med.jhu.edu/stats.htm. This report will be updated periodically, probably just before each meeting.
    The statistics do not cover pages at AVSC, INTRAH, JHPIEGO, MSH–sites other than JHU. The site averages about 300 visits per week, or over 1000 for the month of April, 1997. This is up from less than 200 in December 1996. Most requests come from educational and commercial sites (edu and com) in the US, but a significant number of requests do come from developing countries: 291 requests from Thailand, and smaller numbers from Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, Mauritius, Singapore, Uruguay, Zambia , Jordan and Egypt. The most requested pages, in addition to the home page (538 requests), were PRB’s list of new materials for May 1996, the Internet conference agenda, and the lists of new materials for various meetings. The statistics indicate that the site is useful to its members and to others working in international population, health and nutrition.
  • Promoting the site & the group
    The meeting agenda was posted for the first time on REPRO-HLTH-L and a number of new organizations expressed interest in attending and being on the mailing list: CARE, UNHCR, OXFAM, Policy Project, Quality Assurance Project, Focus Project. It was agreed that, in the future, the site and activities would be regularly promoted to organizations with similar interests through listservs such as REPRO-HLTH-L, but that the site would not be registered with the standard Internet search tools (Yahoo, etc) and there would be no effort to promote it with the general public. Each participating group and the USAID PHN page should also put a link to the site.
  • APHA Presentation
    Peggy D’Adamo submitted an abstract to APHA for the group about the development of the web site. It was accepted as a 15 min. oral presentation. Peggy will contact members of the original working group that set up the web site, to help design the presentation and present it with her. If you are interested in helping, contact Peggy D’Adamo. The text of the abstract is below.
    Developing a Joint Web-Site for Sharing Reproductive Health Information
    The Reproductive Health Materials Working Group is a group of organizations working in the fields of reproductive health in the developing world. It meets twice a year to share materials that have been developed, to discuss plans for new materials in the works and to share information and lessons learned about producing and distributing materials. About a year ago the group decided to try to develop and jointly maintain a web site which would enable member organizations to more easily share information about recently produced and upcoming materials, house general information about the group, and provide a forum for sharing information on other relevant reproductive health materials. The site is maintained collaboratively by five of the dozen or so active member organizations. It has given these organizations a way to share information, discuss issues and agendas, report on meetings…all with a minimum of work for each group. This presentation will discuss the process of planning, creating and maintaining the site and lessons learned from it.
  • User Comments & Ideas for Further Development
    A new user suggested that in the future, the group consider providing access to the new materials and works in progress by geographic area and by topic, as well as continuing the current way of listing them by organization. He pointed out that this would increase access. The group agreed that the current semiannual listing by organization becomes less useful for older materials. Each time a meeting happens, 8-10 new lists are posted, but the old lists are still there. It was agreed that since almost every organization does have a functioning web site, in the future (and beginning with the next meeting), each organization that has a web site should be responsible for posting its own list of new materials and works in progress on its own web site. Directions for the basic format of the list are at http://www.med.jhu.edu/notesnov.html. A link will be made from the home page to each list. This will decrease the amont of work to be done by the PHMWG itself. Instead, it was suggested that each time the group meets, it produce a list of materials on a specific subject or topic. After a couple of years, the subjects could be redone. The group agreed to try this approach. For the next meeting, the topic will be (DID WE DECIDE ON A TOPIC?)
  • New graphics for the web site
    Some sample graphics which were taken from actual materials have been posted on the site at http://www.med.jhu.edu/graphics.htm. Groups can begin to use them in place of the original black and white graphics. Or, if you prefer, you can select examples of graphics produced by your own organization or projects. Send additional graphics, and all comments on the current graphics to Peggy D’Adamo.
  • Participation of additional groups in PHMWG
    Peggy D’Adamo passed around a list of USAID cooperating agencies. People volunteered to contact at least one other agency before the next meeting to explain the purpose of this group, encourage them to participate, and volunteer to present & bring their materials if they cannot participate in person. A letter will be mailed/faxed to each organization from the group, followed by a phone call from the volunteer. Groups and their volunteers are:
    AED–Sara Adkins-Blanch, PRB
    Basics–Gretl Cox, JSI
    Carolina Population Center–Sara Adkins Blanch, PRB
    CEDPA–Margaret Pendzich, RTI
    CDC, Division of RH–Peggy D’Adamo, JHU/CCP
    East-West Center–Sara Adkins-Blanch, PRB
    Futures Group–Margaret Pendzich, RTI
    National Academy of Sciences Committee on Population–Steve Goldstein, JHU/PIP

If you would like to volunteer to contact any other group, contact Peggy D’Adamo or Gretl Cox.

Reproductive Health Training Materials Collection
All organizations that produce training materials on topics in reproductive health that are relevant to developing country situations are invited to contribute their materials to POPLINE for inclusion in the Reproductive Health Training Materials Collection (RHTMC). The Reproductive Health Training Materials Collection is a project administered by INTRAH. Victoria Kimm of POPLINE reminded the group that the deadline for submitting materials to the Reproduct Health Training Materials Collection is September 1, 1997. POPLINE must receive the completed input form and one complete copy of the item. For directions on how to submit materials and the input form, go to
http://www.med.unc.edu/intrah/tmdb/input.html on the INTRAH web site.
POPLINE edits existing records one a year. If you would like to make changes in existing records, the completed input form must also be received by September 1, 1997.

To search for materials that are part of the collection, do a text word search on the following phrase in the source field of the POPLINE CD-ROM: RH Training Materials

Victoria Kimm of POPLINE gave a presentation on POPINFORM which is the searchable version of the most recent POPLINE records on the web. The URL for the novice mode of searching POPINFORM is:
There is also a beta version of an expert search mode, which is still being tested. The URL is:

  • What is POPINFORM? Although the complete POPLINE database contains over 250,000 records, only the most recent records are available in POPINFORM. Each six months the size of POPINFORM will row from about 1,000 records to over 6,000 records. When the semiannual POPLINE CD-ROM is produced, those records will be added to the CD-RM and deleted from POPINFORM.
  • Tips for Searching
    –All searches are case insensitive
    –Enclose phrases in quotation marks. EX: “family planning”
    –When searching for an author, enclose the whole name in quotation marks
    –To search for an organization as author, enclosed the whole name in quotation marks
  • Frequently Asked Questions
    How can I download records from POPINFORM?
    In Windows, you can copy (Control/C) the text of a record and paste (Control/V) it into a word processing application. In Netscape Navigator, you can use Save As under the File menu; select plain text as the file type.–Why do I get a “file not found” or “server error” message?
    Usually “file not found” means that you typed the URL incorrectly. Try typing it again. Once you access POPINFORM once, use the bookmark feature in the web browser for the next time. Messages referring to the server could be caused by a problem with the CCP computer or your Internet connection. Try connecting again later.–Why do I get records that have nothing to do with my search term?
    Be sure to type phrases, authors’ names, organizations’ names in quotation marks. If you don’t, the search software combines each word with the OR operator. For example, South Africa will find records containing either South or Africa, but “South Africa” will find only those records that contain the entire phrase “South Africa”.–Why can’t I find more records on my subject?
    Only the most recent records are available on POPINFORM. You should try your search on the entire POPLINE database.

Information Technology Fair & Internet Conference

Maria Busquets explains that as part of her job at USAID, she chairs a center level working group on information technology (IT). As chair of that group, she has worked to get the USAID PHN home page to link to all PHN groups. The PHN User’s Guide is also on line with links to each cooperating agency.

Information Technology Fair

The USAID working group on IT is sponsoring an Information Technology Fair, which will be held on June 11, 1997 at the National Demonstration Lab at the Academy for Educational Development in Washington DC. The National Demonstration Lab was first funded by the Library of Congress, then by the Smithsonian. It includes a large computer lab which has all the latest applications in information technology available for demonstration.

By now, the project directors of each cooperating agency should have received an invitation to send in entries for the fair. The plan is to have about six different applications running simultaneously, with 20-25 minute presentations on each application. This will provide an opportunity for cooperating agencies to learn from each other. Descriptions of these projects will be made available by USAID at the Global Knowledge 97 Conference, www.globalknowledge.org, which will be held from June 22-25 in Toronto, Ontario.

Internet Conference
Maria Busquets and Steve Goldstein proposed that the RHMWG hold a second conference/larger meeting on the Internet. The first meeting was designed to introduce the potential of the Internet to groups working in population, health and nutrition. After almost 18 months, almost all cooperating agencies have developed home pages and are beginning to explore the potential of the Internet for their project activities. A second meeting could focus more on making Internet-based resources more accessible to the developing world… what kinds of applications work best in this context? What applications might be appropriate 2-5 years from now?

Steve proposed that the second meeting be held in Baltimore again and that it be limited to organizations working in population, health and nutrition in developing countries. He suggested that the agenda be drawn up to focus on successful/promising ways to exchange information. Others expressed interest in seeing the conference focus on connectivity, web analysis software, use of the web for teaching and training purposes, distance learning. We agreed to plan a meeting similar to the one held in January 1996, for January 1998. The first day would be a conference on the Internet, the second day the regular RHMWG meeting. We agreed to make an effort to involve more of the Health and Nutrition organizations in this event. A committee was formed to plan the meeting. Those interested in working on the committee so far are: Pam Harper/AVSC, Kim Austin/MSH, INTRAH, PRB. Any others interested in being involved should contact Steve Goldstein.

Evaluation of Training Materials

Client-Provider Interaction Subcommittee
Susan Palmore of FHI shared the experiences of the Client-Provider Interaction Subcommittee of the MAQ (Maximizing Access and Quality) Committee. This committee conducted a review of training materials and interventions designed to improve client-provider interaction. During this process they reviewed more than 200 curricula and chose 49 for evaluation. As part of this process, they developed a training materials assessment checklist which was used for evaluation. This checklist includes criteria which evaluate the substance or content of the materials and criteria which evaluate the process used in the materials. They also developed a set of best practices in training curricula, which are relevant to our more general discussion of evaluation of materials. These best practices include:

  • Learning objectives are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound) and appropriate for the given audience.
  • Training techniques and activities are: (a) varied, (b) encourage participation, (c) build upon participants’ level of knowledge, and (d) support the achievement of the learning objectives.
  • Overall curriculum and individual sections follow a logical, announced order
  • Clear, detailed instructions for the trainer are included and contain all needed information and examples to guide the trainer in organizing, setting the environment, conducting and evaluating the workshop.
  • Layout and presentation of materials are easy to use for both trainer and participant.

The group also discussed levels of evaluations for CPI training interventions, which include:

  • satisfaction
  • learning (pre & post test used to assess knowledge gained)
  • transfer of learning (applying new knowledge to work setting)
  • results (linking training with health outcomes)

INTRAH participants shared three materials development and assessment tools used in the PRIME project: Planning Questions for Training and Client Materials which includes the questions below, with more detailed questions under each point:

  • What are the problems or opportunities to be addressed by this training or client material?
  • Who are the intended users?
  • What should the intended users know or be able to do after using this material?
  • Where and under what conditions will this material be used?
  • What type of material and presentation of content are most appropriate?
  • What resources are available?
  • How will the effectiveness of the materials be measured?

They also shared their “Assessment Checklist for Training and Client Materials” which includes questions about:

  • Accuracy
  • Currency
  • Applicability
  • Usability
  • Readability
  • Consistency

Finally, they shared their Assessment Checklist for In-Country Training Materials Development and Production Resources. It includes questions on:

  • Where would one look for materials development and production capabilities?
  • What audiovisual equipment is/will be available to trainees?
  • Personnel–who is available?
  • Computer equipment, software, printers
  • Scanners, CD-Recorders, Digital Camera, Modems/Internet Access
  • Video recording equipment, videotapes
  • Photography and printing services

Other Evaluation Tools
Other materials which have good information on evaluation include:

  • Evaluation Project’s indicator for IEC materials
  • PRIME Tools (part of evaluation and research manual, under revision now)
  • CAFS Instructional Design Checklist
  • IPAS book for WHO on Unsafe Abortion
  • Print Materials for nonreaders, Zimmerman & Parkins, PIACT paper #8
  • Making Health Communication Programs Work, National Cancer Institute, 1992.
  • Developing Health and Family Planning Print Materials for Low-Literate Audiences: A Guide by Margot Zimmerman, Nancy Newton, Lena Frumin and Scott Wittet, PATH, 1989. Communications Products Guidelines
    Maria Busquets asked if any groups had had problems getting LPA approval for materials. This refers to any materials costing over $25,000 which may be distributed in part in the US and do not follow LPA technical guidelines for publications. Everyone agreed that the process for submitting materials and getting approval was operating efficiently.She then asked if any groups had changed their original designs for materials because of the guidelines, and if so, had the design suffered because of this. Many organizations said that they had made design changes due to the guidelines, that this often presented a challenge to the materials designers, but that it usually resulted in a cost reduction. Some publications were mentioned that do not look as effective, but it was generally agreed that the guidelines are reasonable.
    In next year’s budget, there are no funds earmarked for CORE. A large percentage of CORE funds are used for printing and dissemination of publications. What will be the impact of a cut in CORE funds for publications? Has this been discussed by any organization? What impact, if any, has electronic publishing had on the number of printed publications distributed?
    FHI explained that it had done some research on reducing costs by replacing print materials with electronic publications. They decided however not to only make Network available electronically; to reduce costs, they went to a lower grade of paper instead. They also changed their publications process, by producing more camera-ready copy in house. So far they’ve had no negative feedback.Others wondered about how to realistically publish very long works on the Web. Others said that electronic publishing is most useful for current materials. Electronic publishing has not cut print runs; on the contrary, it may be generating demand for additional print copies that did not exist before. Other ideas discussed included printing & mailing in country, doing press runs, putting publications on CD-ROM (or CD-ROM). This led into a discussion of training and learning and of the pros and cons of multi-media development vs. bringing a project like that . Electronic Resource Center and Management Tool Kit
    Electronic Resource Center
    Kim Austin and Bea Bezmalinovic of FPMD/MSH presented FPMD’s new Electronic Resource Center (ERC) and Tools Catalog. The ERC is a electronic communication and information service for family planning and health professionals. It will be available in English, French and Spanish. It is being developed in collaboration with SatelLife, the non-profit developer of Healthnet and other computer-based communications technology which tries to provide health workers worldwide with affordable access to health information. The ERC is available on line at: http://erc.msh.org. It includes:

    • Member Database: a searchable database containing profiles of health professionals and their interests.
    • Learning Exchange: an arena where members can learn from the experiences of other members and share examples of innovative management practices.
    • Library: a collection of family planning management and reproductive health materials and publications that can be accessed via e-mail, using the ERC’s search and retrieval tool–GetWeb–which was developed by SatelLife. Materials will include journal articles, reports, guidelines, forms, and tools. The library provides an area where other organizations can collaborate with FPMD.
    • Calendar: a comprehensive list of upcoming family planning and reproductive health-related conferences, seminars, training programs, and events.
    • Conferences: a series of moderated listservs/forums that permit members to discuss critical management issues in health and family planning. Conferences so far have discussed community management and sustainability . A conference on decentralization will begin in a few months.

    As part of the ERC, MSH may be able to organize the lists of new materials and works in progress according to subject and geographic region. Kim and Bea will be contacting all of the USAID CAs to discuss ways they can collaborate in further development of the ERC.

    Management Tool Kit
    The Management Tool Kit, to be developed jointly by FHI and FPMD, will be widely offered both electronically and in print form to the population and development community. Building on the example of Family Health International (FHI) in the development of its very popular print publication, Quality of Care in Family Planning: A Catalog of Assessment and Improvement Tools, which was published in 1993 and is now out of print, FPMD and FHI are collaborating to create a dynamic catalog which can change and continue to grow for a number of years. The Toolkit will contain entries of`tools and approaches addressing a number of management areas such as:

  • clinic management;
  • financial management;
  • strategic planning;
  • performance management/supervision;
  • organizational sustainability.MSH/FPMD will put the resulting tool kit entries on its ERC as soon as possible and will prepare a print listing of the available tools with instructions on how to obtain copies of the tool directly from the referenced CA at established prices (if applicable). PopNet
    POPNET is a new web-based resource, designed by Popualtion Reference Bureau, with links to and descriptions of over 200 Internet resources . The URL is: http://www.popnet.org. PopNet can be searched by organizational source, selected topic, country/region, or keyword. It also includes a feature called “PopNews”. Organizational sources are divided into: government organizations, international organizations, NGOs, universities, associations and listservs and other website directories. Categories include: demographic statistics, economics, education, environment, gender, policy and reproductive health. It will be updated monthly. Please try it out and send your comments to Sara Adkins-Blanch. Essentials of Contraceptive Technology
    Steve Goldstein reported that the Essentials of Contraceptive Technology Handbook will be printed soon. This 350 p. handbook is designed for front-line health care providers. It contains a chapter on each method of contraception. It will be published first in English , then in French and Spanish. JHU/CCP is looking for distributors in developing countries who would be willing to fill requests for single copies or small numbers (under 40). It will be distributed in July with the issues of Population Reports on technical guidelines. All distributors will be listed in the book. Regional offices of WHO will distribute it. If any organization is interested, please contact Steve Goldstein as soon as possible. Administrative Items
  • Name change for this group
    There was discussion about changing the name of the group to reflect what we hope will be a broader focus for the future—not just to focus on reproductive health, but also to focus more closely on other health and nutrition issues. The group will therefore change its name to Population and Health Materials Working Group (PHMWG).
  • Co-chair for PHMWG
    With the resignation of Elizabeth Oliveras at the last meeting, the group was left without a co-chair. At the time someone else tentatively volunteered, but was unable to take the position. Gretl Cox of JSI graciously volunteered to become co-chair and her offer was unanimously accepted.
  • List of translators & medical reviwers A number of organizations expressed an interest in seeing this group develop and post on the website lists of recommmended translators and medical reviewers for the following languages: French, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, Russian . This will be discussed further at the next meeting.
  • Date of Next Meeting
    The next regular meeting of the group will be held on the day after the Internet Conference. The date will be suggested by the group planning the Internet Conference itself and circulated to all members of the group via e-mail.