A Guide to Wise Practices: For HIV/AIDS education and Prevention Programs
Description of Program
What is the intervention/program/project?
There are three interwoven streams of work in Chee Mamuk: (1) Train-the-trainer education programs on HIV, hepatitis and STIs, which involves educational training and provision of a training package and materials for people working in and/or living in Aboriginal communities; (2) Creating resources, such as a Guide to Wise Practicesthat lays out steps for the implementation of new programs in an Aboriginal community; and (3) Providing best practices for other Aboriginal HIV programming in B.C. and nationally through conferences and direct contact.
The guide was developed to help walk through the steps of planning and implementing a new program in Aboriginal communities. It is a community-based approach, as opposed to an “expert coming in” approach. The model is based on an understanding that an expert from outside may not know what a community needs, what its level of readiness is, or what will work best. The guide honours and respects this knowledge.
What is the goal/objective of the intervention/program/project?
Chee Mamuk’s mandate is to provide culturally appropriate HIV, STI and Hepatitis education, resources, and Wise Practice models to Aboriginal communities across B.C. The overall goal is to reduce rates of HIV in Aboriginal communities.
Why was the intervention/program/project originally developed?
Aboriginal Peoples are overrepresented in HIV diagnosis rates in BC. Chee Mamuk began from a desire to reduce disproportionate diagnosis rates and place them in the context of the historical wrongs, such as colonization and residential schools, to which they are linked. Chee Mamuk’s approach is to acknowledge that local people are the experts. The guide was developed to explain how to work with communities and ensure that HIV prevention programming is done with – instead of to – communities.
How was the intervention/program/project developed?
The Wise Practice Guide was developed based on lived experience from people who worked at Chee Mamuk. It was informed by a community readiness model.
OrganizationChee Mamuk Aboriginal Program, BC Centre for Disease Control
- Resource development
- Education (government level)
- Resource development
- Indigenous peoples
Chee Mamuk is housed at the BC Centre for Disease Control, and operates province-wide.
Project ResourcesOne of Chee Mamuk’s main goals is to create culturally appropriate Aboriginal HIV resources to prevent the spread of HIV. Chee Mamuk produces many print resources in-house that are available for ordering. Resources are distributed to Aboriginal organizations throughout B.C. free of cost. Out-of-province distribution is charged due to the provincial mandate of the organization. Some resources are distributed through CATIE.
Resources for Program
- Training resources, materials and guides produced in-house.
- Full-time staff.
- Expenses for outsourcing (graphic design, evaluators, editors, printing, etc.).
- Full-time staff.
DurationIndefinite. Funded on a year-to-year basis.
Audience/client feedback and satisfaction
- Interviews, workshop evaluations.
- Each year Chee Mamuk identifies one area of programming for formal evaluation. As well, Chee Mamuk conducts internal evaluation of all community work. All Information is used to improve programming.
Process monitoring or evaluation
- Number of training participants invited/enrolled, staff time, contact hours/number of sessions held, participant observation by staff.
Evaluation TermsAudience/client feedback and satisfaction, Outcome evaluation, Process monitoring or evaluation
- The most important piece in trying to implement a new program is to assess the communty’s level of readiness. It is equally important to have the support of community leadership. Assessing readiness is not a judgment on a community, but a tool for assessing where to start and what activities to implement.
- Chee Mamuk realizes greater success when invited into a community. Chee Mamuk lets communities know who they are and what they do before requesting applications.
- Having the support of Chief and Council is essential to the success of a program.
- Culture must be included in education. Asking an elder for an opening/closing prayer, crafting activities, wellness activities and blanket ceremonies are core components of trainings.
- The institutional approach to community programming can present challenges. Staff spend time advocating for culturally appropriate programming and the people it serves, outside and beyond the normal workings of the organization.
- Chee Mamuk is a small team with a huge mandate. Staff cannot provide expertise in all the areas that the work touches on.