PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Through an agreement signed November 8, 2022, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) became the recipient of financing to the tune of €149,976.00 from the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) for the implementation of the Global Programme Digital Transformation in the Caribbean Region. This was based on CARPHA’s proposal developed in April 2022 for capacity development for audio messaging as a tool for community outreach to improve health-seeking behaviours in the Caribbean.
The overall objective of the project initiative is to improve access to public health education in the CARPHA Member States. Audiopedia, an open-source audible learning platform will be used and customised for the Caribbean context by integrating content on the priority public health diseases. Through a Public Health Audio Campaign, communities in five countries namely Barbados, Belize, Curacao, Grenada, and Trinidad and Tobago, will be sensitised on COVID-19 vaccination, non-communicable diseases, HIV/AIDS and water, sanitation, and hygiene.
“Using a train-the-trainer approach, CARPHA will support the creation of a Caribbean Public Health Audio Campaign to develop credible, clear, and timely public health messages within CARPHA Member States. The target audience for this training will be health promotion and communication professionals, and local organisations responsible for creating public health messages. These will include non-governmental organisations, community-based organisations, and ministries of health,” stated Dr Joy St John, executive director of CARPHA.
Based on the lessons learned, guiding principles for the rollout of the platform Audiopedia.io in the Caribbean context will be developed and provided by the Audiopedia Academy. There will be a key partnership with Audiopedia Foundation, a German NGO that has been developing and pioneering accessible audio learning since 2016. The NGO will combine relevant, audio content utilising localized experts’ guidance with easily usable hardware and software.
At the end of project implementation, the expected outcomes of this initiative are:
Select communities in CARPHA Member States are sensitized on appropriate Public Health messages.
A cadre of professionals in five CARPHA Member States trained in the use of Audiopedia technology with the capacity to successfully develop and disseminate Public Health education audio messages.
Health communication and promotion professionals obtain improved capacity to successfully develop culturally appropriate health education messages using Audiopedia.
Regional stakeholders are critical to the success of this project. CARPHA will be collaborating with relevant partners in the Caribbean public health response to implement this project. These will include CARPHA Member States through the regional health communications network, and other stakeholders.
These activities are within the framework of the #SmartDevelopmentFund and implemented with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), with funding by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and by the European Union.