Rivers State RH Supervisor Uses Distance Learning App to Successfully Coach Service Providers
Contributor: Chidinma Owalan
The Challenge Initiative (TCI) uses a number of different materials, media and approaches in coaching service providers on its high-impact family planning interventions. One tool used in Rivers state, Nigeria, is a distance learning education (DLE) app called the “My Family Planning Guide” that was developed by the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI). The DLE app uses video to help providers deliver quality family planning services by modeling unbiased counseling approaches. TCI uses this app when coaching Reproductive Health (RH) Coordinators – a process now being replicated in Rivers state.
Stella Daniels is the RH supervisor of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA (Onelga), a TCI-supported local government area (LGA). She decided to use the DLE app to coach service providers across TCI and non-TCI supported facilities within her LGA. This not only diffused the use of the app but demonstrated the success of TCI’s coaching model, where LGA staff who were coached by TCI cascade that coaching down to staff at the community level. Prior to Stella’s adoption and use of the DLE app, TCI provided technical support to all 23 LGA RH supervisors in Rivers state during a quarterly RH coordination meeting on how to download and navigate the DLE App to support service providers in providing unbiased and quality family planning services.
Stella recounts her experience using the app:
The DLE app made the work easier because after the service providers watched the videos, they noted the areas they were deficient and made plans for improvements. Compared to my previous coaching experience with my staff, this time it was better using the app. I allowed everyone to watch the videos and then asked them to make their comments. After which, I stepped in to help them identify areas to improve upon. The videos were really helpful because when you see them, it is better than when you just hear information because it can easily be forgotten. As a result, I helped most of them to download the app as well.”
As an RH supervisor, Stella has discovered an easier, more practical, engaging and effective learning tool to support remote learning and increase knowledge retention among her providers, thereby improving the quality of services rendered and consequently boosting family planning uptake in her LGA. Stella’s experience also reinforces the efficacy of TCI’s coaching model in Nigeria that focuses on state and LGA program managers, who then step-down the coaching support to providers in their respective facilities/catchment areas.