PREP’s Best Practices Part 1: Choice of Population Served and Strategies to Reach Them

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We are often asked our opinion on what we believe the best strategies are for providing relationship education services. While we do believe there are certain practices that are “best”, much of what takes place in a workshop is contingent on the participant and their needs.

In this series I will speak to what PREP believes are some of the best practices for facilitators, but keep in mind that you will most likely need to adapt to your context.

Today I am going to talk about choosing a population to serve and strategies to reach them.

Knowing the audience you intend to serve—their experiences, their barriers, their needs—is key to the successful delivery of relationship education curricula. The following three considerations can help develop a program that serves the intended participants best: clarity about who you are trying to serve and how, recruitment and retention strategies that best meet that intended audience.

  • Clarity about who are you trying to serve and why:
    • Are they couples or individuals? If individuals, are they mothers, fathers, co-parents, women, men?
    • Are they mostly in strongly committed relationships or more fragile relationships?
    • Are they undergoing any special changes, such as transition to parenthood?
    • What are the major issues in the lives of the average participant? Jobs? Complex families?
    • Will those you serve share any common culture or other backgrounds that you want to take into account or will it be a pretty diverse group?
  • Recruitment strategies:
    • How will you reach those you want to serve? How do you get to where they are to help them know who you are and where you are?
    • What external systems and groups can help your reach?
    • Will you employ active recruiters? How will you train and monitor them?
  • Retention strategies:
    • Will you provide incentives for participation?
    • Have you considered getting advice or technical assistance from other providers who have constructed thoughtful systems of retention?

Remember, there is no one perfect way to lead a workshop. Each one comes with its own personality, and a facilitator should be willing and ready to adapt. The bullets above should help you get there.

Come back next week for part 2!

By Rajesh Solanki


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