Infant and young child feeding: Remote counselling eLearning
To respond to the challenges highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, a new eLearning course has been launched which targets infant and young child feeding (IYCF) counsellors. The course is designed to equip learners with the knowledge and skills to remotely counsel clients on understanding, adopting and sustaining optimal IYCF behaviors and practices during infectious disease outbreaks. This course was developed by READY, a USAID/Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance-funded consortium of partners led by Save the Children, augmenting the global capacity of non-government organisations to respond to major infectious disease outbreaks.
In 2021, a global survey was conducted to understand which programmatic adaptations for COVID-19 were most adopted by frontline workers and field practitioners. The survey found that remote counselling services supporting the adoption of IYCF behaviours and practices was the least implemented adaptation. With further investigation, it was found that – despite the strong need for remote counselling services at a time when access to skilled IYCF support was lacking – there was a gap in capacity strengthening tools on how to implement remote counselling.
To meet this identified gap in the delivery of IYCF services during COVID-19, IYCF Remote Counseling builds on the skills that IYCF counsellors already possess, and translates these to remote delivery. To achieve this, the course uses audio and scenario-based exercises, knowledge checks, and opportunities for self-reflection. By the end of the course, learners are able to remotely assess the nutrition situation of their client and their child, analyse potential feeding challenges, and act to address those challenges. The course also provides additional considerations for IYCF counselling in specific remote settings including infectious disease outbreaks, conflict areas, and during migration or displacement events.
The course is designed for low-bandwidth environments, is mobile-optimised and can be played across a range of browsers and platforms. User feedback will be used to strengthen future versions of the course and future IYCF capacity-building initiatives, particularly those occurring in outbreak settings. While only recently launched – in early 2022 – the course currently has over 400 learners enrolled from over 70 countries. Based on demand, this course will be republished in Arabic, French, Indonesian, and Spanish in October 2022.
For more information about the course, please visit https://www.ready-initiative.org/ready-training/elearning-iycf-remote-counseling/
Reference this page
Infant and young child feeding: Remote counselling eLearning. Field Exchange 68 , November 2022. p5. www.ennonline.net/fex/68/iycfe_elearning