Volume 14, Number 2 (9-2016)                   sjsph 2016, 14(2): 87-94 | Back to browse issues page


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Malek Afzali H, Roshanfekr P. Involving the Community in the Early Child Development ECD Programs: Lessons Learned from the MAZDAK Project in Eivanak Community in Tehran . sjsph. 2016; 14 (2) :87-94
URL: http://sjsph.tums.ac.ir/article-1-5386-en.html

1- Ph.D. Professor, Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Islamic Azad University, Tehran Medical Branch, Tehran, Iran
2- Ph.D.R. (by Research) Student, Social Determinants of Health Research Center, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran , pa.roshanfekr@uswr.ac.ir
Abstract:   (2496 Views)

Background and Aim: Much emphasis is being put on participation of the community and parents in early child development (ECD). This article discusses the lessons learnt from the MAZDAK project, which attempts to involve the community in the Monitoring and Promoting Children’s Development Program.

Materials and Methods This was a 9-month community-based participatory research (CBPR) project of the Health System Research (HSR) type. The target population were the families residing in western Eivanak, including 300 children. All the phases of the project were conducted with participation of groups of 10 local volunteer women (in Persian singular Rezakar, plural Rezakaran), each group covering 30 children. At the end of the period challenges and limitations of the community participation were discussed in 2 focus-group discussions (FGDs) and a telephone survey with the participation of 50 of the parents.

Results: Community participation could be seen at three levels: 1. Integrating and linking the existing services and programs in community organizations; 2. Creating an interface organization of people in order to facilitate involvement of community members (Rezakaran); 3. Involving the parents themselves in the process of monitoring and promoting child development. Barriers to more active participation of parents were as follows: mothers’ occupation; number of children; father’s or other family members’ disagreement of the; holidays and bad weather; large numbers of individuals under coverage of each Rezakar which made her deeper understanding and communication with the mothers difficult; irregular follow-ups; age and educational differences between the Rezakaran and those under their coverage; frequent changing of Rezakaran.

Conclusion: Building trust, engaging and empowering people and governmental and non-governmental organizations is the greatest challenge in such a program. Experience shows that it is possible to increase the chance of success by selecting people’s favorite programs and priorities, using simple and friendly tools (ASQ Album), use of technologies to facilitate communication, selection of volunteers with due consideration of social conditions and, finally, increasing the motivation of volunteers for sustainability of activities.

Full-Text [PDF 147 kb]   (609 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Research | Subject: Public Health
Received: 2016/09/21 | Accepted: 2016/09/21 | Published: 2016/09/21

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