Choose a Color

History from 2002-2011 

2002: The beginning 

In 2002, WHO/RHR and partners of the implementing Best Practices (IBP) Initiative began the development of an internet-based tool to facilitate the coordination and planning of activities at global, regional and country levels. The platform had to be usable in a wide variety of settings, including remote areas with poor internet access.

At the same time, an IBP Task Team, led by WHO/RHR (Maggie Usher-Patel) and the INFO Project at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health/Center for Communication Programs (Ward Rinehart and Margaret D'Adamo), was exploring how to improve access to and the use of health information. Substantive evidence that shows many health workers lack access to information when they need it to make informed decisions. This is known as the "knowledge to practice gap. The Team concluded that virtual communication tools for worldwide
knowledge-sharing and communication could help close this gap.

Over time, the vision emerged of one system that achieved two goals: better access to information for those working in reproductive health
and a collaborative learning environment for the exchange of knowledge and experience.

The IBP Secretariat and partners reviewed existing electronic tools and found none that met their requirements. WHO/RHR then awarded a contract to a small firm called WA Research to develop the envisioned platform, which became known as the Knowledge Gateway. WA Research continues today to work with the IBP Secretariat on enhancements, technical hosting, administration and technical backup of the platform.


                                                                          
2003-2004: Development and launch

In mid-2003, the system was pilot-tested in Ethiopia, Kenya, Switzerland, the USA and Uganda. It was also introduced in India to
determine what, and how much time, is required to manage an online community.

The system, with the URL of http://my.ibpinitiative.org, was formally launched in September 2004 at the IBP Africa regional meeting in
Entebbe, Uganda. The first community launched on the Knowledge Gateway focused on reproductive health and had 300 users.
                                                                                                                   
2005-2011: Growth and expansion

By the end of 2006, the IBP Reproductive Health Global Community grew to 4,000 members from 105 countries, 94 subcommunities and supported 9 global discussion forums.

By the end of 2008, the IBP Reproductive Health Global Community grew to 12,053 members from 156 countries and supported 31 global discussion forums.

By the end of 2010, the IBP Reproductive Health Global Community grew to 21,500 users from every country of the world and supported 52 global discussion forums.

By June 2011, the IBP Reproductive Health Global Community grew to 27,000 users from every country of the world and supported 55 global discussion forums.