By Juan José Dorado J., Sphere trainer and focal point representative for APGRB
Over a thousand people in Bolivia accessed and learned about the Sphere Handbook through virtual and in-person workshops over a period of three months.
These workshops were part of the ongoing “Strengthening the comprehensive and integrated public health system in Chuquisaca in response to the health crisis” programme implemented by the Intercultural Nor Sud Foundation (INSF) with the support of Fontilles Foundation and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).
The programme covers the Monteagudo, Padilla, Camargo, and Sucre municipalities in the department of Chuquisaca, where the right to health has been compromised in part by the global COVID-19 pandemic which increased hospital admissions, raised mortality rates, and limited access to emergency services.
One of the programme objectives is to provide training for civil volunteers and civil protection actors in Chuquisaca. Sphere trainers Juan José Dorado J. and Edwin Suaznabar helped to establish a team of local volunteers and trained them to respond to emergencies and public health crises. Online workshops consisting of three 3-hour sessions, covering all chapters of the Sphere Handbook, were run six days a week from March to May 2023.
In total, there were 1,012 participants in these workshops, including people from over 100 Bolivian public and private organizations, who were joined, virtually, by individuals from Peru and other countries.
Additionally, a series of in-person workshops was conducted for 110 participants from various organisations including the Departmental Autonomous Government of Chuquisaca, Alegría Comprehensive Health Center, and the Faculty of Obstetrics and Nursing in Padilla.
“Edwin and I are grateful to the INSF for inviting us to facilitate this unprecedented capacity building programme. We are committed to continuing the process of socializing Sphere at different levels in Bolivia, and we intend to train and mentor new Sphere trainers from among the participants of these workshops. This will further strengthen the training and dissemination of Sphere throughout our country.”
Both the online and in-person workshops in this programme were based on the Sphere online training package which is available for free download in English, French, Spanish and Arabic. Sphere’s COVID-19 guidance, available in fourteen languages, was used to contextualise the training materials.