Afdhila, Novia

Public Health

MSPH

Indonesia

Indonesia - Improving Contraceptive Method Mix (ICMM) in Indonesia

The Improving Contraceptive Method Mix (ICMM) Project began in Indonesia in October 2012. Funded by USAID and the Australian Government, this four-year project is investigating the impact of applying targeted advocacy and knowledge management (KM) activities to improve the contraceptive method mix in two Indonesian provinces: East Java and Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB). District-level working groups, working closely with project staff, will develop an advocacy plan to government and NGO leaders for increasing the priority of family planning (FP) – specifically long-acting and permanent methods (LAPMs) - at the district level. The three major components of the ICMM project are: 1) Collecting evidence about the use of FP in the two study districts; 2) Advocating for the availability and use of quality FP services – particularly LAPMs – in resource-poor areas; and 3) Local capacity building for KM. ICMM brings together the experience and program strengths of local Indonesian organizations, using Advance Family Planning-Indonesia's (AFP-I) methodology, and enhanced by the KM expertise and tools of the Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Project. ICMM is implemented through CCP's Indonesia office, drawing upon the technical skills of ICMM partners: The Center for Health Research/University of Indonesia and the Cipta Cara Padu Foundation. ICMM staff also work closely with the Directorate of Maternal Health from Indonesia's Ministry of Health and the National Population and Family Planning Board (BKKBN) to implement the activities.The intern will work with staff at the Center for Communication Programs (CCP) and the Cipta Cara Padu Foundation (Cipta) to translate research results into practical activities and materials. He/she will work on advocacy and knowledge exchange activities, as well as dissemination of ICMM baseline study results--a qualitative and quantitative study conducted in 2013 to examine needs, preferences, and attitudes about long-acting and permanent methods of contraception (LAPMs). Specifically: 1) He/she will help Cipta staff create tailored advocacy materials (including fact sheets and other resources) for the district-level working groups (DWGs), based on results of the baseline study. 2) He/she will help Cipta staff implement activities to advocate for increased funding for LAPMs at the district level. 3) He/she will help set up and/or maintain knowledge exchange structures for use among DWGs and other FP stakeholders in Indonesia (for example: mobile communities of practice, web portals).

Global Health Mentor: Sarah Harlan

Senior Program Officer, Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs

I was not sure about what to expect when I confirmed to do the field placement in Indonesia. The country is my home for 25 years, I know it very well and I thought I would not learn something new. I applied mainly because the field placement was a programmatic work in a topic of my interest: family planning. Therefore, I started to manage my extectation and anticipated that I would not learn very much or figure out something new. Turns out, I was wrong. During those three months, I learned so much and was exposed to many things that I never experience before. I had the chance to meet with stakeholdres of family planning in national, provincial and district level; contributed in the development of district-level advocacy strategy for the increase of policy and budget on family planning; learned how to plan and implement advocacy works; and visited six study districts to collect data for case study analysis.

This experience has reminded me again that in international health work, we can never know enough. I may thought that I knew my country very well, however, each district, each community and each public health issue is very specific and unique. For example, each study districts of ICMM has their own unique barriers to increasing the use of long-acting and permanent contraceptions. So, even though we have learned so much at school about strategies to better do research or public health intervention and also well-informed about best pratices in other setting, each place need unique and context-dependent strategies. It motivate me to look at public health issues in a more comprehensive lense and at the same time, zoom in to its specific details and situations to come up with an innovative and effective strategies.

What I learned from my field placement is the important role of the supervisor. I am grateful to have an awesome supervisor from CCP who made sure that I learn and contribute as much as possible. Her attentive Skype call and email has helped me to ensure that I knew everything that I have to know and was able to discuss challenges that I found along the way. In addition, my supervisor has helped me to communicate with local organization prior to my departure. Because of that, necessary things such as scope of work, accomodation, timeline, etc were discussed ahead of time. Everyone was in the same page and the good communication was maintained throughout my practicum. I think this is very important, which brought me to the second lesson learn: maintaining good communication is crucial. The good communication that was built prior to my arrival has given me a good beginning in my interaction with local organization.

Everyone welcome me to be a part of their team and treated me as such. I was given responsibilities to work on their projects as well as opportunities to share my ideas. I also tried to go extra miles by assisting some team member in their work such as proof-reading their report and taking minutes while observing the meeting with other stakeholders.To the students who want to apply for similar experiences, I suggest you to put communication as your number one priority, both with your supervisor and your local organization.In addition, come to the country and the organization with an open mind and flexibility. Your scope of work may not be exactly the one you read on the project description. It can be less or more. However, if you are open-minded and flexible, all of those valuable experiences, useful knowledges and skills will fall to your hands eventually.

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