Is Boost the right tool for you?
Who is it for?
Boost was co-created with community health workers (CHWs) from across Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Together we designed the app to meet the learning needs of a broad range of community cadres, including peer educators, behaviour change facilitators, home-based care givers, amongst others.
The information is simple and accessible and covers topics from, COVID-19 to PrEP, pregnancy, mental health and many more. The app is easy to use and can be accessed through any smart phone.
How can Boost support your work?
Boost is a free tool that CHWs can access through their phones as and when they need. Although the app wasn’t developped to deliver a full training curriculum, it covers many of the key topics for community health workers to understand about HIV and sexual health.
Boost can be used:
- To help community health workers explain key topics with their clients
- To deepen community health workers’ own understanding of topics related to their work
- To support ongoing training sessions
- To help organisations monitor the ongoing learning of their community health workers.
For organisations, Boost can provide data and tracking information on how community health workers are using the app. This will help you better understand the learning needs of the community health workers you work with and how they are using the app to support their sessions with clients.
What do you need to roll it out?
Boost is free for anyone and you don’t need to seek permission from us to start using Boost with your community health workers.
- Boost can be accessed through any smartphone and once downloaded is available offline. To start using Boost you will only need to have access to the internet in the initial kick-off and set up of the app.
- Boost is intuitive to use and the app includes a full set of instructions on how to use it. For a further guide to using Boost, watch this video.
How to roll out Boost?
Avert can provide further assistance with roll-out and we are happy to arrange a call to discuss your organisation’s specific needs and answer any questions. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
The roll out process may depend on your organisation and how you intend to use the app, but here are our tips on how to make community health workers feel comfortable and confident using Boost.
Step 1: Kick-off and familiarisation sessions
An initial familiarisation session helps your community healthworkers to get to know Boost. These sessions are an oppportunity for them to ask any questions and understand how they should use Boost in their work. They don’t have to take long, it’s enough to set aside some time in one of your usual supervisions or training sessions.
In the session, you can:
- Assist CHWs with downloading Boost, adding the app to their home screen
- Give CHWs a chance to explore the content and ask any questions
- Help CHWs understand how they might use Boost in their work.
You will need WiFi or data to download Boost, so sessions work best when CHWs are facilitated to access these.
Community health workers should bring with them the phones or tablets that they will use to access the app in their work.
Step 2: Put Boost into practice
How your community health workers use Boost will depend on the organisation. At the moment, community health workers are finding Boost helpful for work in clinics, group sessions and home visits.
As your community health workers start using the app, any regular supervisions or check-ins can be used as an opportunity to talk about how they are finding it, and discuss any issues or tips that come up.
Step 3: Monitor how Boost is helping your community health workers
Registering with us means that we can provide your organisation with segmented tracking data on how your CHW’s are using the app. We can share with you the following information:
- Number of users from your organization who have downloaded Boost
- Average frequency with which they use Boost
- Average number of pages/items CHWs access
- Which sections and activities are most popular among your users.
We hope that this information will help you develop your understanding of the topics that come up in your community health workers’ work and help you to identify if they have any further learning needs.
What support can Avert provide?
We are available to provide support as you roll out Boost. We are keen to hear any feedback that you have and will be available through-out roll out to answer any questions or provide technical support. Get in touch via any of the means listed below and we can talk you through.
We are also running a Facebook group where CHWs can discuss their experiences using Boost and raise any questions that they have about the content. It will also be a place where they can meet and connect with other CHWs from across the region.