Introduction & Acknowledgements

The Introduction discusses the trajectory of Mpowerment Project research to date, its position as an Evidence Based Intervention (EBI), and includes information about how the current technical assistance tools were developed. It also includes lessons learned surrounding fidelity and adaptation of the intervention, as well as issues that facilitate or impede Project implementation.

In addition to thanking as many people and institutions as possible for their support of the Mpowerment Project, the acknowledgements section provides a quick synopsis of the academic interests of the original developers of the intervention, Drs. Susan Kegeles and Robert Hays. The improved manual is dedicated to Dr. Hays, for none of this would have been possible without him.

M1: Overview

The Overview module discusses in detail how and why the Mpowerment Project was developed, its theoretical basis, including its guiding principles, Core Elements, the scientific evidence of its effectiveness and its cost-effectiveness, and the initial steps to starting the Project in a community.

M2: Community Assessment

The Community Assessment module provides tools and guidance to help identify and describe the different groups of young gay/bisexual men in the community, how to reach them, and what activities might appeal to them; what community resources and organizations might be useful to the Project; and who would be good to have on the Core Group and Community Advisory Board.

M3: Implementing Agency

The Implementing Agency module describes the responsibilities and functions of the implementing agency, including the different types of agencies that host Mpowerment Projects; suggested guidelines for leadership; planning for the Mpowerment Project before implementation; funding issues; agency policies, attitudes, and environment; staff selection and training, including sample job descriptions and interview questions; Project supervision; and creating and maintaining good community relations.

M4: Coordinators

The Coordinators module describes the role of Project Coordinators, including their responsibilities; how to configure their roles when there is more than one Coordinator; characteristics of effective Coordinators; use of behavioral objectives to supervise Coordinators, including sample behavioral objectives; their training needs; and Coordinator evaluation duties.

M5: Core Group

The Core Group module describes the decision-making body of the Project, the Core Group, as well as other volunteers who are not part of the Core Group. Topics include assembling and renewing a Core Group; motivations for Joining the Core Group; facilitating Core Group meetings; frequency and location of Core Group meetings; Mpowerment Project ground rules; preparing for Core Group meetings and developing agendas; and evaluating the Core Group meetings.

M6: Project Space

The Project Space module describes why it is important for the Mpowerment Project to have a space of its own; what to look for in a space; provides ideas for alternative space arrangements; offers guidelines about how to select a space; and suggests how to set up a space to be effective and appealing.

M7: Formal Outreach – Social Outreach Events and Outreach Team

The Formal Outreach module describes Social Outreach Events (ranging from events that attract 10 men to events that attract 200-300 or more men); the Outreach Team; and outreach materials that promote safer sex and testing.

M8: Informal Outreach

The Informal Outreach module discusses the concept of informal outreach, which emphasizes the importance of encouraging and supporting friends and acquaintances to have safer sex and know their current HIV status. The module includes sections on teaching and motivating men in the M-groups to conduct informal outreach with their friends; teaching and encouraging men to talk with their friends about safer sex as well as about issues that underlay why men have unsafe sex; encouraging and motivating men to know their current HIV status through regular testing; and encouraging and reinforcing men to conduct informal outreach with their peers throughout Project activities.

M9: M-groups

The M-group module focuses on the ins and outs of M-groups, the small group component of the Mpowerment Project. The module answers the questions:

  • What are M-groups?
  • How were they developed?
  • What happens in M-groups?
  • How are facilitators trained?
  • What are the most effective ways to recruit young men to the M-groups?
  • Scheduling, record-keeping, and evaluation of M-groups.

M10: Publicity

The Publicity module explains how to develop and implement a publicity plan that effectively reaches young gay/ bisexual men and promotes the Project and its activities. The module discusses the creation of a Project logo, the use of diverse images, potential constraints on publicity materials, and specific publicity strategies using print, social networking sites and internet outreach.

M11: Community Advisory Board (CAB)

The Community Advisory Board module discusses an important optional element of the Mpowerment Project, the Community Advisory Board (CAB), including the role of the board, board composition, personal qualities to look for in board members, member selection, and CAB meeting operation.

M13: M-Group Facilitator’s Guide

The M-group Facilitator’s Guide is meant as a training tool to teach new facilitators how to run M-groups. Each section of the M-group Facilitator’s Guide contains “facilitator notes” that provide insight into the development of that particular section, as well as hints and tips for successful implementation.

Spanish Translation of the Mpowerment Project Manual

The Spanish version was developed by colleagues in Guatemala that we at CAPS adapted and refined.

La versión en español del manual del Proyecto Mpowerment es una guía comprensiva sobre cómo implementar el Proyecto Mpowerment. Tópicos de los módulos del manual incluyen un Resumen del Proyecto, Grupo Impulsor, Grupos M, Alcance Formal, y mucho más. Esperamos sinceramente que esta guía ayude en sus esfuerzos para implementar el Proyecto Mpowerment con poblaciones que hablan español.