Discussion Question 2: What were the important steps that the project designers took to gain the trust and confidence of those involved in the city's Mood collection industry? What impact did this have on the success of the project?
- The GAP Unit involved the blood donor agents (the middlemen) right from the start by inviting them to the workshop and asking them to help design the project. This ensured that the agents were aware of the needs and .the objectives of the project, that their experience and knowledge influenced the design of the project, and that they would have a sense of ownership of the project. It also gave the GAP Unit easy access to the commercial blood donors themselves.
- The study done to investigate the situation of the blood donors before the detailed project activities were decided upon was very important. By talking to the commercial blood donors the project staff gained an understanding of how the blood system worked, and of the needs and motivations of the blood donors themselves. On their side, the blood donors would have begun to get to know the project staff, and could have shared their own views of what might be done and what would be important to them.
- The system of identity cards for HIV-free donors seems to have worked in this case. It provides a motivation for the donors to be regularly tested (so that they can maintain their livelihood). But there are clearly potential dangers which could be explored with participants, for example:
a) HIV-positive donors might find it difficult to maintain their anonymity in a small community where presumably the blood donors know each other and the agents well:
- The GAP staff also carried out a survey of the blood collection laboratories - again this gave the staff of these laboratories a chance to learn about the project and its aims, and to contribute their views on what could be done to improve the situation. The training of staff would have been welcomed since it was designed in part to help them protect themselves. The donor identity card system would also have been attractive to them since it offered them a no-cost way of protecting their reputation.
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