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Capturing Lessons Learned in Peer to Peer Education in Kenya

Published 02/06/2015 by Global Communities


Capturing Lessons Learned in Peer to Peer Education in Kenya

Sarayu Adeni, Beatriz Albernaz, Meghan Arakelian, Conor Troy and Monica Pasqualino Contribute to Research on Global Communities’ HOPE Program
Kenya’s HOPE project (Healthy Outcomes through Prevention Education) is expected to come to a close in mid-2015. Active since 2012, this HIV/AIDS education project, implemented by Global Communities Kenya and funded by USAID, has accumulated a body of knowledge and experience relating to the application of Peer to Peer (P2P) education approach which actively involves peer educators to disseminate messages and spur behavior change among targeted population.
A team of Master Candidates from Colombia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), along with their academic advisor, Dr. Tony Barclay, was invited to help capture and evaluate lessons learned in applying P2P to influence behavior of youth in greater Nairobi metropolis.
After researching the program context and its achievements since commencement of implementation the Columbia SIPA team focused on the issue of transferability of lessons learned to other sectors and other types of Global Communities’ programming. Based on available data and inputs from Kenya HOPE, the team identified seven aspects to consider in the transferability and success of P2P approach within different sectors and population groups:

Leadership and knowledge: Involve individuals with a higher level of knowledge and strong leadership skills who are willing to take on the role of peer educators

Flexibility: Ensure that adjustments to scheduling, content and organization can be made along the way to accommodate the needs of a specific sector, region, or population group

Time: Allow adequate time to achieve positive behavior change

Small group settings: Maximize the effectiveness of P2P methods when practiced in such groups

Publications and resources: Accompanied by in-person communication to maximize effectiveness

Mass media: Popularize P2P and make it well known in programs featuring peer education and its successes

Partnerships: Involve all stakeholders in order to establish sustainable support systems and institutionalize the goals of the program.
The Columbia SIPA team recommended that any future program incorporates these seven aspects when devising a P2P approach for whichever sector or population group it intends to impact. Thoughtfully shaped approaches will foster better transferability of the P2P and will ensure that it is as successful as the Kenya HOPE program has been in mobilizing populations to impact collective and practical youth knowledge.