As some of you know, I work for a vaccines manufacturing organization. Our primary training content is scientific in nature; however, topics like vaccine hesitancy, access to vaccines, and vaccine policymaking are also extremely important. And, while these topics can be trained using classroom/ virtual lectures with an SME, they are more impactful if subjective social viewpoints can be included in the training along with objective clinical data.

Project: Design training for the topic, Government Approaches to Vaccination for Mosquito-borne Diseases

Unique challenges of the topic:

Training is to be designed by the global team; yet, the training is very localized country by country (LOC), based on different national approaches to vaccination, funding, policy-making, etc.Start training with global topics and branch out into country specific breakout rooms for national topics.
LOCs have little to no knowledge of program and policy related topicsNevertheless, identify and collaborate with LOC SMEs. They may not have the information but will have the challenges that need to be addressed with training. Share knowledge and challenges across LOCs and global teams. In the absence of content to learn from, sharing will be a good first step towards raising awareness and start building a common core of knowledge.
Unique mix of global (scientific and clinical) and LOC-specific (program and policy) topics.Program and policy related trainings have a community/ social component, which should be reflected in the training. Vaccination programs are cultural events in dengue endemic countries in LATAM and APAC- size of programs, local campaigns using local languages, challenges faced, use of cultural wisdom, etc. This should come through in the training.
Training is owned by the medical affairs team, who have some experience designing training on scientific topics, but not on policy related topics. Further, medical affairs historically has a preference for academia and the university style of training.Traditional medical training methodologies will not work for vaccine policy training. These are social topics that are not effectively taught in traditional classroom settings.

Learning Strategy
By using the internal MS-Teams platform, we started a “Picture Worth a Thousand Words” campaign for this training. As pre-work, learners were invited to share pictures of vaccination approaches from their respective countries using tags like #KnowDengue and #NoDengue. Learner engagement exceeded our expectations. Submissions included public health messages and advertisements in local languages, pictures of locally designed mosquito traps and protection methods against mosquito borne diseases, local newspaper reports, and personal stories from patients and vaccination staff. This resulted in a more engaging learning experience as:
• We were able to add the local perspective to a global-led training program.
• Learners were able to start their learning journey using a familiar emotional experience.
• Sharing across cultures underlined the global nature of challenges with vaccination, thus enhancing empathy and facilitating information exchange across APAC & LATAM.
• The learning experience comprised not just of a stand-alone classroom training session, but additionally also a social media campaign, brief presentation based on submissions from each country, comparing and discussing the vaccination approaches from respective governments, economic implications, list of common questions asked by health authorities at each region, etc. The participants from the Yammer Campaign were also recognized during the training session. The conversation was kept alive post training using the internal Yammer channel.

Takeaway
We received very positive feedback about this social media campaign. Learners were motivated to research the subject matter before the training and to share their findings with each other. They participated actively in discussion and reflection during the training. Last, they learned from each other using memorable images as a study resource. This social media campaign was engaging and impactful and convinced me of the impact of social media in training.