High Impact Practices in Family Planning (HIPs) are a set of evidence-based family planning practices vetted by experts against specific criteria and documented in an easy-to-use format. The Evaluation of High Impact Practices in Family Planning Products sought to understand whether and how HIP products were being used among health professionals at the country and global levels. Using key informant interviews (KIIs), a small study team found that various HIP products are used by family planning experts and professionals to inform policy, strategy, and practice.
This post is the second part of a series sharing the results of an evaluation study on HIP products. Read the first post here.
Read a recap of the research questions and findings below.
An essential part of the KM for Global Health Logic Model is knowledge sharing, or dissemination. The HIP Partnership relies on this step to raise awareness about HIP products and encourage use. Without dissemination, there would be no uptake or use of the HIPs when designing, advocating for, or implementing programs. During the HIP evaluation, comments and suggestions relating to HIP product dissemination repeatedly came up during the interviews.
Participant feedback underscored the importance of sharing the HIP products with various stakeholders across networks. Currently, the HIP Production & Dissemination (P&D) team develops monthly social media packages and shares them with partner communications leads. Through social media graphics and messages, the packages often highlight new or updated products and resources to encourage active engagement and sharing of the HIPs. One participant in the study noted that this effort would benefit from an expansion in the network to more local and grassroots levels. Another study participant shared that HIP updates and news should reach groups involved in service delivery, such as nurses’ associations and in-country technical working groups. These groups have direct access to service providers and a unique vision of HIP implementation.
As the HIP Partnership has grown over the past year to over 60 organizations—with many being regional and country-focused organizations—the HIP P&D team will be able to reach more audiences than before with HIP products through the partner communication leads. Over time, the HIP P&D team’s intentional use of different communications channels and dissemination mechanisms would have a lasting impact on the implementation of high-impact practices and result in improved family planning outcomes.
HIP products are also often used in workshops and training settings as reference or guidance documents on how to start implementing a high-impact practice, or monitor implementation. Many participants remarked they printed out HIP briefs or planning guides for such events. One participant in Mali called for the need to expand workshops such as these to the central level with decision-makers such as Ministries of Health. “During these workshops, we would distribute the relevant briefs and planning guides to the districts and urge them to use them,” they said. A participant in Burundi echoed this sentiment and suggested that top-down dissemination will be more effective.
Increased HIP presence in countries and strong engagement among different networks could lead to the HIP products getting into the hands of decision-making bodies. Earlier this year, the HIP P&D team developed and launched HIP Brief Presentations. These are designed for individuals and groups to present the briefs to different audiences, complete with talking notes for presenters. For example, a program implementer could use the Supply Chain Management presentation to advocate for investing funds to strengthen the FP commodity supply chain to decision-makers.
Participants also expressed a need to improve knowledge sharing across organizations that have implemented or are currently implementing a HIP. The HIP Webinars are great to hear about how a HIP is being implemented in one context, but what about bringing that into a completely different region? A respondent from Colombia raised that it can be difficult to understand how to implement a HIP that is completely new from one webinar alone. A key recommendation from the study suggests that strengthened knowledge sharing among the local networks mentioned above will enable individuals and organizations to connect more often through webinars and other events to exchange information on HIP implementation in their similar contexts.
The HIP Partnership and its network has immense potential but is only effective if it is capitalized upon. We encourage organizations and individuals who are actively engaged with the HIPs, whether it be through membership in the Partnership, reading or using HIP products, or attending HIP webinars, to spread the word. Share the HIPs with local organizations in your network. The findings from the evaluation revealed the many use cases of HIP products. People around the world use the HIPs in designing, advocating for, and implementing high-impact practices in family planning. All of us have a role to play in ensuring that these products reach those who need them.
Knowledge SUCCESS firmly believes that documenting best practices and sharing implementation experiences can result in improved programming. Understanding how knowledge products can be most effective and useful is paramount to the documentation effort. Studies like this HIP evaluation shed light on how knowledge products can be used for advocacy to decision-makers, integrating FP/RH alongside another health area, or scaling up a particular practice.
This evaluation provided insight into how the HIPs are functioning as knowledge products for FP/RH practitioners and decision-makers and how their effectiveness and use can be improved. We hope that by disseminating the answers to the research questions, with evidence from the study, the HIP audience, (including users and members of the Partnership) can learn how HIP products are being used and shared in global FP/RH programming. Through this, we, the FP/RH community, can all better understand how knowledge products are used for program implementation and how they can be more user-friendly and effective. Over time, the improved use of FP/RH knowledge products and knowledge sharing will result in better family planning outcomes.