Design for low literacy facilitation

Client: Catholic Relief Services
Location: Ghana, Kenya

The challenge

The Integrated Mothers and Babies Course is a fully developed and vetted program for community-based peer postpartum support. In delivering a pilot in rural Ghana, the IMBC team found that due to lower levels of literacy among model mothers the program was struggling with fidelity. Core messages and activities were lost between training and delivery.

What we did

Picture Impact developed a set of 100+ images for a flipchart to support the delivery of the IMBC. These images followed the stories of two mothers as they navigated new motherhood, pulling ideas and characters across the entire set of materials. We illustrated complex and abstract ideas using these characters, in situations specific to the lives of rural women using the materials. To make both the front side (mother’s side) and back side (model mother’s side / facilitator’s materials) useful and relevant to the context, we streamlined detailed technical information that was on the existing flip charts and in the trainer’s guide to be read at a 3rd grade level. We adjusted the layout, adding a color coding system, images to support the meaning, a way for model mothers to easily navigate the materials and see where they were, and white space to decrease cognitive load.

The results

The illustrations were well received during testing. Women were able to easily “read” the images and the model mothers could recognize the messages from their training.

Before and After of the Mother-facing Side (front)

Before and After of the Model-Mother (Facilitator) Side (back)

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