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Block Champions

Using the evidence-based HBM to improve utilization of existing vaccination services block-by-block in Menelas, Haiti.

Photo of Delaney Harbold
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Describe what you intend to do and how you'll do it in one sentence (required 250 Characters)

We’ll augment our block-by-block approach with the constructs of the Health Belief Model to instill an intrinsic motivation in caregivers to seek the free vaccination services that exist in the community but are currently underutilized.

Explain the idea (less than 2,000 characters)

We offer health workshops in Menelas that focus on health issues, concerns, and topics relevant to the community. We plan to incorporate the core constructs of the Health Belief Model (HBM) in the development of a workshop curriculum focused on immunization. The HBM defines several factors that influence someone’s health behavior, in this case, the decision to seek the free vaccinations offered by the local clinic called Hopital Fontaine. The concepts of the HBM include; perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, perceived benefits, perceived barriers, cues to action, and self-efficacy. We plan to design a curriculum that touches on these constructs in a way so that participants understand that all people are susceptible to these diseases, if they/their kids contract these diseases the consequences could be life-threatening, and the benefit of getting vaccines is that they will be protected from these diseases and as a result healthier. Ideally, at the end of the workshop, participants will be able to see for themselves the potential consequences of not vaccinating their children, the benefits of seeking vaccinations, and feel motivated and confident in the decision to do so. The other piece of the HBM is the cue to action that will activate that readiness, and trigger the behavior to actually go out and get their kids vaccinated. In this case, the cue to action will be a simple block party, moving through the community block-by-block (consistent with our current model) until everyone in Menelas is reached. A block party will be a celebration that not only brings the community together as a reminder and call to seek vaccination services, but can also serve as a positive incentive further motivating families. Additionally, due to our organization’s partnership with Fontaine, we can help facilitate the appointments and connect families directly with the services at no cost to them or our organization, which reduces common barriers to seeking services like this.

Which part(s) of the world does this idea target?

  • Caribbean

Geographic Focus (less than 250 Characters)

Menelas, Haiti. Menelas is a community in Port-au-Prince where approximately 10,000 people reside. It is a small and isolated community, where infrastructure is poor.

Who are your end users and how well do you know them? (750 characters)

Our end users are the residents of Menelas. Data from our community surveys show that the median monthly income per family is $29USD, less than $1 a day. Our organization has maintained a local presence in Menelas since 2012 through our Haitian staff members, and our year-round programming and services. We currently serve 72 families and are continuing to onboard new ones, utilizing a block-by-block approach to eventually incorporate the entire community into our programs. Our wrap-around service model and holistic approach allows us to follow families until they no longer need us, no matter how long this takes, so we get to know the families we serve and their needs especially well

How is the idea unique? (750 Characters)

The innovation of our idea lies in the delivery. There are several pieces in play in the community that we can easily tap into. There are free vaccination services already offered, they’re just underutilized. This intervention focuses on how we can get it to work differently and better than it has before, broadening its reach. First, using the evidence-based HBM in the workshop should increase caregivers' drive to vaccinate their kids. Then, a block party will prompt the action of getting vaccinated, and our partnership with the clinic will help with the logistics of this. The block-by-block approach is uniquely effective in that it brings people together, creates a buzz about the program, and allows the community to progress together.

Idea Proposal Stage (Select 1)

  • Prototype: We have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing the idea.

How many months are required for the project idea? (140 characters)

It will take 12-14 months to implement this program, accounting for preparation and implementation.

Organization Name (less than 140 characters)


Type of Submitter

  • We are a registered NGO or Non-Profit Organization

Organizational Characteristics

  • Female-led organization

Organization Location (less than 140 Characters)

Menelas, Haiti Los Angeles, CA, USA Pittsburgh, PA, USA

What is the current scale of your organization’s work?

  • Community (working within one or a few local communities within a region)

Website URL

Tell us more about your organization/company (1-2 sentences)

Work’s mission is to accompanying families in Haiti out of poverty through good, dignified jobs. Our goal is simple, to place two heads of households into a good, dignified job so they can pull themselves out of poverty forever

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (750 characters)

We have a partnership with Hôpital Fontaine, the local clinic where families in Menelas go for their healthcare needs. Fontaine has trained doctors, nurses, and staff that will administer and track the vaccinations received. We will work with trusted and recognized community leaders at each block, whom we call our block champions. They will take leadership of their individual block in the block-by-block approach and manage the logistics and implementation of the full process from outreach to vaccinations to block party on their block.

How many people are on your team?


Tell us more about you and your team

Work offers wrap-around services that include access to medical care, education, job training and placement. This is made possible by a diverse team of staff with different areas of focus and expertise. A list of our team members can be found here . We have staff based in both Haiti and the US, and our Haitian team is responsible for pushing forward services and programming on the ground, case management, and working directly with our families in Haiti on a daily basis.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Marichu Carstensen

Hi Delaney, I would like to know how you effectively communicate your message across? How do you convince them? What are the results of your approach. What percentage of the block gets prompted and go for immunization? Do you have figures that says that your strategy is effective. I agree that in order to solve a big problem in a community, doing it in piecemeal can make the work lighter. How do you conduct the talks? Why is it more interesting than other health care talks?

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