by Camilo Hurtado-Parrado
ABA Colombia’s 2021 strategic plan to continue growing and positioning in the region resulted in the establishment of four committees, which are aimed to develop the current areas of interest for the Chapter, namely: (a) dissemination and continuous-education events, (b) memberships and affiliations, (c) system for recognition of credentials and training of behavior analysts in Colombia, and (d) communications.
ABA Colombia hosted nine online, live, and free events during 2021. They included seminars: “The Situation of Applied Behavior Analysis in Latin America,” by Sonia Calderon, Alessa Mauri, Maria Arizmendi, Carola Scolari, and Carlos Barbosa; “The Structure of Behavior and Its Implications for Applied Behavior Analysis,” by Federico Sanabira; “Research and Interventions on Social Issues From a Behavior Analytic Perspective,” by Mark Mattaini, Blanca Ballesteros, Wilson Lopez-Lopez, and Jose Ardila; “The Past, the Present, and the Future of Applied Behavior Analysis for Special Populations,” by Benjamin Giraldo; “Contemporary Perspectives in Behavior Analysis of Culture,” by Jose Ardila; “The Establishment of an Elementary School Based on Experimental Analysis of Behavior,” by Julio Varela; “From the Experimental Analysis of Behavior to Clinical Analysis of Behavior,” by Claudia Caycedo; “Assessment of the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in Applied Behavior Analysis,” by Luisa Canon, Francisco Ruiz, and Carlos Rivera Villegas; and “Interbehaviorism and Applied Behavior Analysis,” by Emilio Ribes Inesta. The guest speakers were recognized Latin American behavior analysts across a wide range of areas, and the success of the events is evident on comments, questions, and size of the live audience (average of 200 participants). All videos from previous and next events are freely available at the YouTube channel of ABA Colombia.
ABA Colombia updated its membership structure during 2021. The committee in charge of this process developed a new system, that includes categories, requirements, and benefits, and was cohesive with the efforts to develop a separate system for recognition of credentials and training of behavior analysts in Colombia. The new membership system will be launched during a special event in May 2022.
The committee involved in the development of the recognition system of credentials and training of behavior analysts reviewed the success of related systems in other countries (e.g., Brazil, United Kingdom, United States and Canada) and has been working on a first version of the operating manual that will guide such process (e.g., degrees and hours of supervised experience needed for each of the recognized categories, required supporting documentation, etcetera). Also, in collaboration with the National University of Colombia, the development of an exam is ongoing. Among the next steps is the inclusion of the relevant aspects of the recently released Tiered Model of Education by ABA International. The expected date of completion of this project is the first semester of 2023.
Lastly, the creation of a committee dedicated to ABA Colombia’s communications responds to the need to continue increasing the chapter’s presence on the Internet, including dissemination of the science and practice of Behavior Analysis. Important efforts of this committee were aimed at targeting different audiences across different platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Additional to promoting the different events that ABA Colombia periodically holds, the communications committee disseminates relevant information on behavior analysis. A especially successful initiative was the series of five interviews with Latin American students studying in behavior analytic programs abroad, which resulted in an important increase in engagement and subscriptions to the chapter’s social networks.