Title

Role of a community-to-community learning strategy in the institutionalization of community mobilization among female sex workers in India

Document Type

Article (peer-reviewed)

Publication Date

2014

Abstract

Introduction: The institutionalization of community mobilization is not well understood in literature. This paper aims to understand the role of the community-to-community learning strategy in the institutionalization of community mobilization among sex workers communities across eight districts of Andhra Pradesh, India. Materials and Methods: Data collected during baseline (March, 2010) and endline (June, 2012) under an HIV prevention project (SAKSHAM project) was used to investigate the strength (as score) of community mobilization based on two learning strategies: non-government organization (NGO)-to-community-based organization (CBO) strategy, and community-to-CBO strategy. The strength of community mobilization was assessed based on different parameters. The change in scores were computed as a percentage of the improvement to the total potential improvement from baseline to endline on specific indicators and overall. Results: Most of the CBOs considered in the pre-post assessment had been registered during 2004–2008. At baseline, the community ownership and preparedness index scores for the eight CBOs under the community-to-CBO strategy ranged between 21.5 and 27.7 while the scores for the three CBOs under the NGO-to-CBO strategy ranged between 16.3 and 21.5. By endline, the strength of community mobilization among CBOs under the community-to-CBO strategy increased 18 points (equivalent to 23% potential improvement) whereas the strength of community mobilization among CBOs under the NGO-to-CBO strategy increased only 10 points (equivalent to 13% potential improvement). The average percentage difference in improvement between the strategies was 10% (p = 0.102). Further analyses indicate that a greater improvement in community-to-CBO learning strategy was noted around managerial capacities and engagement with stakeholders than other parameters. Conclusion: The community-to-CBO learning strategy presents promising results for HIV prevention with regard to institutionalization of community mobilization among sex workers communities. Findings support the scaling-up of community mobilization initiatives within HIV prevention interventions using well trained community members in India and elsewhere.

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0090592

Language

English

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