By Silas Achar, Communications Officer, Family Health International, Kisumu, Kenya
For the Male Circumcision Consortium in Kenya—a research and capacity-building project that works with the Kenyan Ministry of Health and other partners—we have a monthly update system that helps facilitate internal communications among our team.
We use a communications log in the form of a simple grid (see Appendix 4.1) that each project partner fills out and brings to the monthly meeting. Each partner notes which communications activities have been implemented and which are planned, whether misinformation or rumors are emerging, among whom, and whether any materials have been planned or completed. These updates are discussed during monthly meetings, allowing partners to plan ahead and collaborate in a coordinated fashion to develop key messages, responses to misinformation, or other issues.
As the project’s communications coordinator, I then take the filled-out forms and use some of the most salient items to compile a project e-newsletter that gives prominent credit to the individuals and organizations it mentions. The newsletter also provides a venue to share links to new publications on male circumcision for HIV prevention and local news articles on the procedure.
These updates help us track our progress over time and help ensure collaboration and communication between all partners. We also share these updates with our sponsor and use them during the reporting process.