"The means is dialogue, the end is learning, the purpose is peace." ~ Founder Dr. Jane Vella

Creating Power among Community Women

GLP Services: consulting

​A number of  years ago Global Learning Partner (GLP), Inc. had the privilege of working with an inter-organizational team to create, field test, and adapt a multi-city HIV and STD prevention program among female sex workers in Ethiopia.

The project has now been expanded and is used as the standard of excellence for HIV prevention in Ethiopia.  GLP, Inc. provided overall consultation on project design, drawing from innovations and lessons learned by similar projects worldwide. We worked with an international team on development of peer leader network, training of peer leaders, creation of peer learning guide, as well as the conceptualization and implementation of field test process among network of NGOs working in the field. We conducted a multi-site visit to coordinate training to launch the program. We also offered input on the joint training of establishment owners and government officials, the influence of sex worker clients, and the monitoring/ evaluation of the project. 

As a result of very high satisfaction with GLP’s work, AED invited us to do a broad follow-on project which focused on creating safer and healthier campuses by working with University staff, students and the general public. Sexual health was part of the focus.

Value of this Experience:

SMART Journeys has recently been evaluated using an emotion-based qualitative approach, as well as more conventional quantitative methods.  The findings show that the program has affected participants’ behaviors as well as their sense of self and of their future.  Such internal shifts, combined with practical skill-building, are extremely relevant to the new UNICEF supervisory effort.  

Here are just a few highlights recently published by AED from the SMART Journeys evaluation:

  • Women who participated in SMART Journeys were more hopeful about their future than women who did not.  Peer educators were transformed in their sense of identify and aspirations for the future.
  • Women who participated formed a more cohesive sense of community than those who did not, and scored significantly higher on measures of social capital such as social support.
  • Participating women reported greater knowledge about HIV-related issues and expressed greater patience, perseverance and creative thinking when negotiating for condom use.

All of the materials used in SMART Journeys have been built on principles and practices of Dialogue Education™. As described above, this dialogue-based approach invites personal reflection while also challenging learners to try out new ways of doing what they do, and checking the results against their own goals.  The success of SMART Journeys offers evidence of the value of a thorough learning needs and resources assessment, the power of dialogue-based learning, and the need to design with the end-in-mind. 

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