Northeast South Dakota Area Health Education Center
What has been most instrumental to your progress?
Holding more regular meetings of the South Dakota One Health group, focused on topics informed by the groups key stakeholders, was the first critical step. This allowed us to tap into the collective expertise of the stakeholders and design events and other innovations that addressed their needs and wants. We were also able to expand the variety of stakeholders interacting in South Dakota One Health meetings, which helped to increase the group's effectiveness and expand its reach. These meetings and the associated feedback surveys laid the groundwork for the other activities pursued this year, as well as helped further define the identity and vision of South Dakota One Health. Three cross-sector publications, a radio appearance, and a conference presentation have already emerged from the project.
Outreach events at the South Dakota State Fair, Black Hills Stock Show, Young Producers Conference, Dakota Farm Show, Sioux Empire Farm Show, and Watertown Farm Show allowed us to spread word of the project to a broader swath of the livestock producers community. This stakeholder group had been the least-represented group at previous South Dakota One Health events, and these outreach events have played a key role in trying to both learn from and educate this community. Feedback surveys were also collected at these events, which helped the project team learn about topics of interest and communication preferences of this stakeholder group.
The creation and continued evolution of a dedicated website for South Dakota One Health was perhaps the activity from the first year of the project that will have the greatest long-term impact on increasing communication and collaboration among the various stakeholder groups. This platform will ultimately serve as the hub for cross-sector collaborative connections, publications, event information, disease information, and social media activity related to the project. The web build is utilizing Paulsen Interactive, widely regarded as a market leader in agriculturally-related marketing and technology initiatives. Content and additional site features are still under development, but the site is live and can be viewed at http://www.onehealthsd.org/ from any internet-connected device.
Key lessons learned
The most important lesson was the complexity of designing a website even when utilizing a professional firm, and the intensity of the content-creation demands. While this is not something we would characterize as a failure, it was certainly a greater challenge than we anticipated and required greater human resources than originally projected.
Reflections on inclusive, collaborative or resourceful problem-solving
While the project has striven to be inclusive of all stakeholder groups, it has been the collaboration of leaders in human health, animal health, the livestock industry, and educational institutions that has provided the expertise, passion, and momentum to move project initiatives forward. Without the collective knowledge and industry insights of all these groups, success would not be possible.
Understanding the problem
One of the major themes that emerged from our research and conversations was simply a lack of awareness of cross-sector issues and a lack of familiarity between key players within the various stakeholder groups (i.e. -- "who would I call if I wanted to learn about _____?"). There are also numerous different avenues that offer possibilities for collaboration and cross-sector learning. Dissemination of knowledge outside of one's own industry channels has often been an afterthought prior to the conversations surrounding this community innovation process. Now stakeholders are beginning to think of potential collaborators and potential cross-sector dissemination at the outset of a project conversation.
If you could do it all over again...
To put more forethought into establishing channels for sharing of content for the website and social media platforms. This may have saved time in the web design process and also could have potentially saved some money via reduced web developer hours on the project.