Voices of C.H.O.I.C.E (Challenging HIV Owning Interventions Creating Evidence)
Description of Program
What is the intervention/program/project?
The Voices of C.H.O.I.C.E. project is designed to bring members of Aboriginal communities together to prevent the spread of HIV, HCV and STIs. The Aboriginal community, organization or residential facility (i.e., treatment facility, jail, half-way house) fills out and submits a ‘request for services’ form to KAF for a presentation/workshop about HIV/AIDS and related issues or provides learning needs by phone or in person. Kimamow Atoskanow Foundation facilitators are able to offer information from a 1-hour in-service to a 4-day training as determined by the community or organization initiating action. The form allows communities/facilities to request presentations/workshops on the basis of their information needs; presentation topic needs; skill development and training level; care and support needs; and population demographic. The form also allows communities/facilities to indicate the resources they are able to offer and their expectations from the service. KAF creates a workshop tailored to these needs and matches an appropriate facilitator. KAF travels to the community and delivers the workshop/presentation.
What is the goal/objective of the intervention/program/project?
The mission is to create a healthy response to HIV/AIDS in Aboriginal communities. The objectives are to increase awareness, acceptance and the application of evidence-informed HIV interventions suited to the community. The objectives hold that this must be accomplished in a relevant and refined manner while supporting people living with HIV/AIDS in a family and community-focused way.
Why was the intervention/program/project originally developed?
The project was intended to challenge the issues of HIV/AIDS among people who are not always represented at the table. It was developed in order to clearly identify the issues and needs [‘Challenging HIV’]; for individuals, organizations, communities and policy makers to take ownership for what to do about HIV/AIDS and assist in building confidence and skill to address complex needs [‘Owning Interventions’]; and track the process with relevant evaluation and data collection processes, [‘Creating Evidence’].
How was the intervention/program/project developed?
KAF was incorporated in 1992 and has been rurally-based since its inception. KAF responded to community needs while also responding to existing funding opportunities. Prior to the creation of Voices of C.H.O.I.C.E., KAF conducted focus groups with professional stakeholders, young people, treatment centers and the general populations to ask whether the program should continue doing what it was doing, and – if so – how.
The program staff looked at what it had done in previous projects that had been well-received. They found and heard that they needed to spend more dedicated time on each topic as opposed to covering all topics within one workshop/presentation. Voices of C.H.O.I.C.E. was developed to allow communities to identify and take ownership over their HIV/AIDS educational needs.
OrganizationKimamow Atoskanow Foundation (KAF)
- Harm reduction
- Resource development
- Harm reduction
- Government agencies/institutions
- Incarcerated and/or remanded individuals
- Indigenous peoples
- Service providers
The program is based in Sandy Beach, Alberta and travels to land-based Aboriginal communities, primarily in Alberta
Project ResourcesTree of Creation: http://www.treeofcreation.ca/tree.html
Resources for Program
- Travel resources (e.g., vehicle and fuel expenses).
- Relational capacity, or the ability to maintain and connect with community in a way which is appropriate to the context. This includes matching the appropriate people (e.g., if communities request a Cree speaker, a Cree speaker is matched).
- Adaptable team members. There are some staff who are able to visit communities on their own, and others who are able to go out in team.
- A diverse range of hard copy and virtual resources, from those with basic facts about HIV/AIDS to more explicit materials. KAF maintains extensive Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Historical Archives dating back to 1985.
DurationContinue. Financement par projet
Process and outcomes evaluation
- Constant use of focused evaluations; developmental evaluations; community input.
Audience/client feedback and satisfaction
- In-session and post-session outcome evaluations.
Note: This is an Aboriginal-focused program – the wealth of information that is obtained from people in the community is not captured by written data collection. Many of the lessons learned are stories which KAF is often granted permission to share ensuring the VOICE of Indigenous / Aboriginal people is heard at policy and decision making levels.
Evaluation TermsAudience/client feedback and satisfaction, Outcome evaluation, Process monitoring or evaluation
- The importance of relationships and partnerships with communities, organizations and facilities.
- The value of the mobile component as opposed to a fixed site for community level awareness.
- The importance of navigating community dynamics, including who to ask and how to reach leaders.
- The value in asking people what they want as opposed to offering a fixed, static presentation. This entails being clear about the minimum you hope to cover in the presentation, but maintaining flexibility and adaptability.
- The content and the language used is very important. Information must be translated depending on the context.
- The importance of being familiar with different approaches/interventions to HIV/AIDS education.
- Working in some institutions (e.g., will be on day-one of a 2-day workshop in prison and some security issue comes up and can’t go back for second day).
- Logistic and scheduling issues, such as weather and roads.
- Challenging people’s perceptions, dispelling myths and addressing incorrect information. For example, the media can shift discussions from prevention towards cures and treatment.
- Supporting people through the evaluation process – and supporting people in understanding that everyone must be involved – has been a positive challenge that has led to growth for the organization.