Ensuring an innovative program’s sustainability.

Program overview

Based on the demonstrated success of the Male Family Planning/Reproductive Health Training Program, in 2009 Think Responsive developed a Trainer of Trainers (ToT) program to help the local government take ownership of family-planning initiatives without losing momentum. As part of our support efforts, we trained seven teams of female and male master trainers in intensive workshops and created comprehensive guidelines for the program’s ongoing implementation.

Project goals

To expand access to family planning/reproductive health services in Afghanistan through training of male health providers as agents of change.

Program and Curriculum

To ensure the program’s success, we carefully selected the master trainers and created educational materials that could empower the Ministry of Public Health to run the program on its own. Key parts of our strategy included:

  • Recruitment selection criteria
    With the help of MoPH, Think Responsive team members traveled to different parts of the country and interviewed more than 30 individuals to select appropriate trainees.

  • Geographic diversity
    Men and women from a wide range of backgrounds and regions were chosen to ensure the expansion of family planning and reproductive health information and education throughout the country.

  • Curriculum development
    We researched, designed, and developed a national curriculum including teaching modules, educational materials (including 12 Family Planning Educational DVDs), and evaluation tools in the local language, Dari.

  • Cultural sensitivity
    We held a variety of focus groups to field test all educational materials we developed and ensure that they were culturally appropriate.

Our curriculum and materials were designed to:

  • Increase knowledge about the importance of male involvement in reproductive health

  • Address myths and misconceptions regarding family planning methods

  • Increase awareness of gender-based violence among male health providers and its relationship to health and social progress

  • Increase professional capacity among Afghan male health providers in:

    • Family planning education, counseling, and services for men

    • Safe motherhood measures

    • Treatment of sexually transmitted infections and treatment and education for prevention of STIs/HIV/AIDS in men

Increase awareness and capacity within the Afghanistan Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) to organize and conduct workshops on male reproductive health training throughout the country

Evaluation and Results

We used evidence-based evaluations to track our programs’ effectiveness. We tested participants at both the start and end of the training program in order to measure their mastery of the material over time. Before and after test differences were analyzed using a two-sided paired t-test at a significance level of 0.05. There was a large and significant improvement in the test scores increasing from a pre-test average of 55% to a post-test average of 87% (p-value < 0.0001).

After our master training program ended, the MOPH began replicating our training workshops in other regions of the country.