From tailoring to poultry farming and from vegetable growing to drug banks, the Promising Strategies Program has already made a huge difference to the lives of many people living with epilepsy in thirteen developing countries.
From Cameroon to Mongolia and from Ecuador to Zambia, the provision of a small sum of financial aid has allowed IBE members to introduce and develop training courses, client services, agricultural enterprises and improved legislation that will enable people with epilepsy to develop skills, gain self confidence and win the ability to live independent lives. And that is the result from just the first round of the Promising Strategies Program!
Now following on from the success of enterprises supported during 2007, the initiative is beginning the second round of funding, with six proposals selected. Each of these will receive US$5,000 in support. These six projects, which are briefly introduced here, were selected from more than 20 letters of intent received following the call for submission that was circulated in September last year. Each of the six projects will impact on people living with epilepsy in the respective countries and it is hoped that the success of the initiatives will encourage members in other countries to implement similar activities in their own regions.
The definition of a Promising Strategy is one that should have the potential to foster effective and innovative public health practice with regard to epilepsy.
Ideally a Promising Strategy initiative will include some of the following:
- Is based on measurable, realistic and time specific objectives.
- Is need-based and data-driven.
- Is innovative and involves the developemnt of new solutions to common problems that impact on people with epilepsy and their families.
- Establishes a strategy that makes a difference in improving accessibility to accurate, timely, necessary and culturally appropriate information and/or services.
- Demonstrates a sustainable effect in the community where it is being implemented.
- Has the potential for replication of positive results if the program is implemented in a similiar environment and with a similar target population as its original pilot demonstration.
- Is a strategy that can be used to generate policies and initiatives to address systens issues abd comon problems impacting people with epilepsy and their families.
- Is likely to be implemented in collaboration with other strategic partners.
- Has the support of key leaders within the IBE member organisation and broad epilepsy community.
- Has a mechanism to evaluate results and get feedback to continue to improve the program.
IBE is very grateful to those Members associations who have supported the projects, either with a donation given directly to the fund or through the Solidarity Fund. UCB Pharma has also supported the program and promises to do so again in 2008.
IBE wishes each of these projects every success in the coming months.
Click here to find out more about Promising Strategies and the projects funded to date.