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Creating an Innovative CoP

Next Gen RH Advisory Committee Elevates Young People as Design Partners

In August 2020, Knowledge SUCCESS embarked on a strategic initiative. Responding to knowledge-sharing needs expressed by adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH) professionals, it established a robust global Community of Practice (CoP). It worked collaboratively with a group of AYSRH professionals to create the Next Gen Reproductive Health (Next Gen RH) CoP.

Next Gen RH is dedicated to serving as an interactive platform for collaboration, innovation, knowledge sharing, and knowledge management training within the AYSRH sphere. It prioritizes:

  • Providing technical leadership in the effective implementation of AYSRH programs.
  • Advancing the research agenda.
  • Creating and facilitating knowledge-sharing opportunities to push the field forward. 

Never before have there been so many young people globally—an unprecedented 1.8 billion youth. This presents a crucial and opportune time to build economic and social progress. Young people matter. How we meet the needs and aspirations of young people now will define our common future. They are shaping our global future and will have an impact on family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) programming.

Next Gen RH Structure 

The youth-led CoP is headed by two co-chairs in collaboration with 13 advisory committee members. The structure of this team of trailblazers creatively addresses considerations of representation and voice.

The photo above depicts a flow chart with three teal boxes on the left-hand side connected with dotted lines. The first box on the left-hand side reads, “Youth Co-chairs (2),” the second box on the left-hand side reads, “Advisory Committee Members (13), and the third box on the left-hand side reads, “General Members.” Each of the three boxes is connected to a fourth teal box on the right-hand side that reads “Knowledge SUCCESS.”
The photo above depicts a flow chart with three teal boxes on the left-hand side connected with dotted lines. The first box on the left-hand side reads, “Youth Co-chairs (2),” the second box on the left-hand side reads, “Advisory Committee Members (13), and the third box on the left-hand side reads, “General Members.” Each of the three boxes is connected to a fourth teal box on the right-hand side that reads “Knowledge SUCCESS.”

Next Gen RH advisory committee (AC) members are FP/RH practitioners based in Asia and Africa. They have a wealth of expertise and diverse experiences in AYSRH. Since March 2022, AC members have actively participated and engaged in monthly meetings organized by Knowledge SUCCESS and the youth co-chairs. The engagement involves:

  • Supporting pre-planning.
  • Activity co-designing.
  • Completing design exercises.
  • Sharing materials with other AYSRH organizations. 
  • Gaining input on how to enhance the CoP. 

Members have spent time on trust-building activities at each AC meeting and through WhatsApp chats, fostering the open sharing of experiences, challenges, and successes. This sets the tone for working collaboratively as a team.

Next Gen RH Advisory Committee Members

(Hover over the photos then click to learn more about each member.)

Alex Omari

Co-Chair

Pooja Kapahi

Co-Chair

Brittany Goetsch

CoP Coordinator

Arafat Kabugo

AC Member

Blessed Peter-Akinloye

AC Member

Danish Tariq

AC Member

Dr. Kughong Reuben Chia

AC Member

Dr. Rediet Negussie

AC Member

Elijah Nsonge

AC Member

Innocent Grant

AC Member

John Kumwenda

AC Member

Koni Wendy Bakka

AC Member

Margaret Bolaji-Adegbola

AC Member

Justin
Chee
Ngong

AC Member

Nur Mohammad Chowdury

AC Member

Saustine Geoffrey Lusanzu

AC Member

The Design Process

AC members support the activity design process by serving as advocates for the Next Gen RH CoP at the global, regional, and country levels. They identify organizations and individuals to join the CoP.

Activities commence with a needs assessment to better understand the AC members’ operational and programmatic context. This includes filling in and discussing the socio-ecological model of the AYSRH professionals. Some of the insights and themes that have emerged in the past include:

  • AYSRH knowledge needs of the AC members.
  • Use of Google Drive as a platform to share knowledge and documents.
  • Members embrace the knowledge-sharing culture with colleagues.
  • Members would like more skills building on how to translate complicated data and conduct monitoring and evaluation activities.

Every week, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the Next Gen RH AC youth chairs hold two 30-minute coffee chat sessions with two advisory committee members. These meetings facilitate continuous social interaction and allow the team to get better acquainted.

The team also engages online through a WhatsApp forum to share timely feedback and generate more ideas about the design meetings.

Why the Design Process

The design process evokes learning among AC members. It generates insights and reflects regional and AYSRH-experience diversity among CoP governance and leadership. The design process aims to drive AYSRH innovation and modeling for programs and research. By the end of the process, Next Gen RH AC members have supported the development of a harmonized model to inform the future of AYSRH program design and execution. This promotes positive health outcomes for youth. 

Next Gen RH recognizes that young people are agents of change! Please join the CoP on its IBP Xchange page (free account registration required) to receive updates and engage with the youth co-chairs, AC members, and general members!

Creating an Innovative CoP
Alex Omari

East Africa KM Officer, Knowledge SUCCESS, Amref Health Africa

Alex is the Technical Family Planning/Reproductive Health Officer at Amref Health Africa’s Institute of Capacity Development. He works as the Regional Knowledge Management Officer (East Africa) for the Knowledge SUCCESS project. Alex has over 8 years’ experience in adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH) program design, implementation, research, and advocacy. He is currently a Technical Working Group member for the AYSRH program at the Ministry of Health in Kenya. Alex is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health (FRSPH) and a former Kenya Country Coordinator for the International Youth Alliance for Family Planning (IYAFP). He holds a Bachelor of Science (Population Health) and a Master of Public Health (Reproductive Health) from Kenyatta University, Kenya. He is currently pursuing his second Master's degree in Public Policy at the School of Government and Public Policy (SGPP) in Indonesia where he is also a public health and health policy writing scholar and website contributor for the Strategic Review Journal.

Pooja Kapahi

Digital Communications and Campaigns, UNI Global Asia & Pacific

Pooja is a passionate youth activist working to amplify the voices of young people in India. In her role as senior program officer for USAID’s Momentum Country and Global Leadership program, she handles the youth portfolio of the project in India. Previously, as the communications and advocacy consultant with International Growth Centre, Jhpiego India, and South Asian Workers Gender Platform, she was involved in providing technical support for youth-centric, youth-led advocacy programs; and creating youth-centric videos, case studies, graphics, training materials, and campaigns. In her previous work with Restless Development as a youth power global leader and Women Deliver young leader (2018) she has coordinated sustainable development goals (SDG) campaigns and pushed for youth policy and meaningful youth participation at the national and international levels. In 2017, she coordinated the Speak campaign by CIVICUS “No Means No, Consent Matters,” which brought awareness towards gender-based violence and early and forced child marriages. In recognition of her work in these areas, she was selected as a 2018–2019 young leader for Women Deliver. She was also selected to speak at the Youth Zone session titled “Young Leaders Speak: Harnessing Creativity to Move the Needle for Girls and Women” during the Women Deliver Conference in June 2019 in Canada and as a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 2018 global goalkeeper. As a powerful advocate for strengthening youth participation in national and international decision-making forums, she has attended the 2019 National Conclave on SDGs in India, 2018 Partners Forum (PMNCH), Commonwealth Youth Forum in 2018, the Commission on the Status of Women in 2018 (CSW62), and the High-Level Political Forum in 2017 as a youth advocate.

Brittany Goetsch

Program Officer, Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs

Brittany Goetsch is a Program Officer at the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs. She supports field programs, content creation, and knowledge management partnership activities. Her experience includes developing educational curriculum, training health and education professionals, designing strategic health plans, and managing large-scale community outreach events. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from The American University. She also holds a Master of Public Health in Global Health and a Masters of Arts in Latin American and Hemispheric Studies from The George Washington University.

Cozette Boakye

Communications Officer, Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs

Cozette Boakye is a Communications Officer at the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs. Through her work, she leads communications campaigns for East Africa and Asia, develops content, and provides overall communications support for project-related activities. Her passion spans across health communications, family planning and reproductive health disparities, and design thinking as a strategy to shaping social change globally. Cozette holds a B.S. in Public Health Sciences from Xavier University of Louisiana, and a MPH from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

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