Are you working with community health workers? Are you looking for new ways to support and understand their ongoing learning? Then look no further than Boost.
Boost is a mobile phone app and website designed and developed in collaboration with community health workers and peer educators in Southern Africa.
Boost provides easy, up-to-date, visual and interactive materials on HIV, sexual health and now COVID-19.
- Data light
- Free to download for offline use
- Available to individuals and organisations
- Regularly updated with the latest information on HIV, sexual health and COVID-19.
Who is it for?Boost is here to give community health workers the resources and support they need to provide high quality care to their clients and communities.
It’s also a free tool for organisations working with community health workers to use to support their effectiveness, development and ongoing learning.
By the way – when we use the term community health worker we use it to cover individuals in a variety of different roles including peer educators, behaviour change facilitators, community mobilisers, home-based care givers and many, many more.
What does Boost look like? What can it do?
Here are just some of the features of Boost:
- Search all the content easily
- Quizzes and myth busting to make learning interactive
- Presentation mode for use with clients
- Create an account to track your progress and store preferences
- Share content from Boost via Whatsapp to others
- Mark and store your favourites
- Glossary with simple explanations of key terms
- New content notifications
- Coming soon: Badges and awards to incentivise learning
What do you need to roll it out among your community health workers?
- Boost is free for anyone to use, accessed through a smartphone.
- It is available as a data-light website, or can be downloaded so it is available as an app offline.
- Boost is intuitive to use and includes a getting started guide within the app.
- Organisations are encouraged to use Boost as an information and support tool with their community health workers.
What data can your organisation get back from Boost?If you register with us, we can include your organisation in the app’s drop down organisational menu. This means we can segment the data that is automatically collected by the app, providing your organisation with insights on how often the app is being used, by how many of your community health workers, and what content they find most helpful.
What are the benefits?
- Boost will provide your community health workers with access to engaging, up-to-date, relevant information and materials to support their own learning and development.
- Boost is a resource your community health workers can use with individuals in their communities, supporting them to make decisions about their health.
- Boost provides your organisation with a free-to-access hub of resources to support the ongoing learning and effectiveness of your community health workers.
Here are some other benefits that organisations have already identified:
- Many organisations aren’t able to bring their community health workers together as often as they’d like as a group or with their mentors. Boost will provide another way to support them between meetings.
- Community health workers in waiting rooms often have a golden opportunity to engage with people waiting to see a nurse/health worker. Boost is a great visual tool for them to use with clients at this time.
- Now, as social distancing measures around COVID-19 stop many community healthworkers from being able to see their clients face-to-face, more organisations say that they see Boost as a way for community health workers to continue to work with their clients - sharing content from Boost over WhatsApp.
- With new information emerging on COVID-19 everyday, Boost has been able to help community health workers stay up-to-date on an unfamiliar and constantly developing issue.
Why has Boost been developed, and what is it aiming to achieve?
Community health workers support millions of people living with, or at risk of HIV in Southern Africa. They are often people’s first point of contact with the health system.
To play an effective role, community health workers need access to up-to-date, clear, accurate and user-friendly information on HIV and other health issues. At the moment there are few ways for community health workers to get this, and many still rely on word of mouth for new information. Boost will be a way of providing health workers with the up-to-date and accessible information and materials that they need.
Boost ultimately aims to improve community health workers’ ability and effectiveness. We will be evaluating the results of this pilot project over the coming months, and will share the results and learning at the end of 2020.
How to use Boost
Boost is free for anyone to use and is available now. Visit/download Boost on your phone at boost.avert.org.
If you are in Southern Africa and would like to use Boost as an organisational tool for your community health workers then you can also register with us. Registering will enable data segmentation for your organisation, and give you access to anonymised data on how Boost is being used by your cohort of community health workers.
By registering you can also send any further questions you have on Boost.