Areas of Expertise

Our core area of expertise at K4Health is in knowledge management for global health, with a particular focus on family planning. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that family planning practitioners have the know-how they need to do their jobs well at all levels of the health system so that clients receive the services they need in order to build healthy families and live productive lives.

For four decades, we have partnered with the U.S. Agency for International Development to share family planning and reproductive health knowledge worldwide. Here’s how we do it.

Services

  • Audience research. We start by conducting health information needs assessments in the countries where we work to find out what kinds of information health care workers in the field need and to understand how they share, adapt, and apply that information.

  • Knowledge capture and synthesis. Then we work with other organizations to collect information on priority international family planning and reproductive health topics, sift through it, and organize the most important information in a meaningful way—what some people refer to as content curation or knowledge synthesis. Toolkits, POPLINE, and Photoshare are prime examples of our curated products.

  • Knowledge sharing. Using the K4Health website and blog, Toolkits, databases, share fairs, communities of practice, eLearning courses, social media, mobile technologies, and other communication channels, we share this information with health professionals in the family planning and reproductive health field to help them improve their programs and practice.

  • Knowledge creation. Throughout the process, we discover new ways of understanding a problem and different approaches for addressing it, leading to the creation of new content. For example, we produced the widely-used handbook Family Planning: A Global Handbook for Providers (one of the World Health Organization’s four cornerstones of contraceptive guidance).

  • Technical assistance in the field. Our Field Activities include regional and country programs to improve the transfer of knowledge across many levels of the health system and to build capacity among local partners. Activities include needs assessments; content curation and dissemination--for example, country-specific Toolkits; and tailored eLearning resources that respond to country- and regional- specific needs for training and technical assistance.

  • Use of appropriate technology. Many people think first about technology solutions when they think about organizing and sharing knowledge. However, at K4Health, we use technology to support our KM processes—not as the driving force behind them. We tap into a range of solutions, including collaborative platforms, mobile platforms, and even physical face-to-face meetings when needed, to support our KM processes, depending on goals, needs, and resources.

  • Measuring results. How do we know whether we are making a difference? We plan for monitoring and evaluation from the beginning of our KM projects and activities. We assess our work as it unfolds, to see if we are on track. We collaboratively developed a Guide to Monitoring and Evaluating Health Information Products and Services, which is available to the public.