Developing your plan of work
A plan of work is simply putting together all the components you have worked out to deliver your health education messages, such as your objectives and the activities you will use. Your plan should specify the roles of the different people involved, the time in which the particular activities have to be carried out, and the different methods you plan to use.
What is in a work plan?
Your plan of work should include the following components:
- Clear objectives
- Your strategies
- A list of activities that you will do
- Who will help you
- Resources to be used
As you can see from the box above, an indicator is one of the components of a work plan. An indicator is used to measure changes related to each of your health education interventions. A variable is something that changes over time. For example, knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, skills and health behaviours are all variables, because they can change over time, and you hope that all these things will improve as a result of your work in the community.
For instance, a person's attitude is not static — it can change. So the variables can indicate, or show, the extent of your achievements. For example, if you educate households about the proper use of bed nets to prevent malaria, your indicator could be the number of households who have used a bed net properly after they have received your health education messages. The variable in this example is people's behaviour.
To understand how a work plan is developed, look at the table below. This table helps you to visualise how the components of your work plan could be put together, and the relationship between each component. (Note that IEC materials involve Information, Education and Communication).
Sample plan of work.
|To increase the number of households who use bed nets properly from 20% to 60% over the next year.||Home visits.Training each household on the proper use of bed nets Demonstration of bed net use, practising with mothers and families.||
Conducting home visits.
Identifying barriers to using bed nets, giving advice to families, and helping them to hang bed nets properly. Preparing training materials, selecting participants, giving training.
|Community health practitioners, community malaria workers.||IEC materials. Posters, leaflets, papers, pen, pencils, bed nets. Materials to demonstrate use of bed nets such as rope.||August 2012 to September 2013||Number of households who received training. Number of households who use bed nets properly after training.|
Creating a work plan takes time and effort. So we are not asking you to do one here and now. But it is useful to familiarise yourself with its shape. So look at the table above carefully now, and think of a health problem you are aware of in your area. Try just mapping out a work plan in a very preliminary way. Think how you would turn the problem into an objective. Imagine the sorts of activity you would want to undertake. Who do you think would be responsible people to involve? What sorts of resources would you need? What would a reasonable time frame be? What sorts of indicators of change do you think would be helpful?
As we have noted, a work plan is not something which you can just put together in half an hour, but beginning to think about the issues you would need to deal with to construct one is a useful exercise. If you want, you could try it with a number of health problems, and begin to get a feel for what exactly you are going to need to do.