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IEC and Job Aids
Information, education, and communication (IEC) strategies use job aids and other materials to improve health worker performance, remind caregivers how to perform certain tasks, encourage people to make positive changes in health-related behaviors, and create demand for health services. Interpersonal communication from trusted sources—such as health providers, faith-based organizations, and community outreach workers—influences attitudes, improves knowledge, and helps individuals build skills to sustain positive health behaviors.
URC is widely recognized for developing technically sound, culturally relevant, visually attractive, and effective job aids—tools that improve health workers’ performance of tasks, such as nutritional assessments, and caregivers’ behaviors, such as preparing supplementary foods for children. Job aids and other IEC materials help people decide what action to take, remind them how to take action correctly, advise them when to take an action and when not to, and reduce errors and uncertainty. For health workers, job aids shorten training time, reduce variations in carrying out tasks, and can help shift tasks to lower-cadre workers without impairing performance.
IEC and Job Aids at work
In Zambia, the Mawa project is improving caregiver and community dietary practices, maternal and child healthcare, and rural livelihoods in a sustainable fashion to combat malnutrition. URC is creating health communication materials, including job aids, which nutrition volunteers use as they educate families on improved infant and young child feeding practices and appropriate hygiene and sanitation practices.
In Uganda and other parts of the world, patters for anatomical models, developed by USAID ASSIST Project midwife P. Annie Clark, aid in teaching health workers about delivery care. The patterns allow trainers to produce aids in teaching essential obstetric and newborn care practices: for the placenta, membranes, cord, cord covering, cord stump, uterus, mother’s pelvis, and baby’s body, arms and legs.