10 to 14 years

The 10 to 14 years age group required by UNICEF Adolescent Health

Sexploitation in Tanzania - how a radio show is helping young people

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Author: Gaure Mdee, July 20 2016 - We arrived in Kahama in north-western Tanzania on a cool Thursday afternoon. The town is home to one of the country’s largest gold mines but unemployment here is high. Many people struggle to make ends meet in spite of the riches that lie hidden below the ground.

Our radio show Niambie (Tell Me) aims to give young people a voice. We had travelled to Kahama to make a show about how corruption affects them and ways in which the community can tackle the problem together. As a national corruption chief told us during our visit, 'corruption is rife and rampant here.'

In preparation for the show we interviewed young people at the offices of local youth development charity Kahama Heroes. Young people spoke openly.

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Changing the River's Flow - A Gender Transformative Programme for Young People

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SAfAIDS in partnership with Sonke Gender Justice is implementing a 2-year gender programme that seeks to transform gender roles and promote more gender-equitable relationships in order to reduce HIV and gender-based violence (GBV) and promote positive sexual and reproductive health (SRH) in Zimbabwe. Launched in 2015, Changing the River's Flow - A Gender Transformative Programme for Young People (CTRF 4 YP) is intended for young people in hard-to-reach areas like farms and mining communities. The programme's activities are designed to transform harmful cultural practices and social norms by engaging all levels of the community through workshops and dialogue sessions that promote positive gender norms and values, transform harmful gender norms, and reduce harmful cultural and religious practices that can lead to unsafe sexual behaviour and HIV infections.

Communication Strategies: 

The main intended audience of the programme is adolescent boys and girls (10-14 years) and young people (aged 15-24 years). A total of 720 young people will be reached directly with interventions in four districts in Zimbabwe (namely, Chiredzi, Hwange, Nyanga, and Seke). In total, 10,000 adolescents and young people in hard-to-reach areas that include farming and mining areas will be reached, including young people living with HIV (YPLHIV) and those living with disabilities. Secondary groups intended to be reached include institutions that work with adolescent and young boys and girls in transformative work and the gatekeepers and the circle of care of young people: traditional, religious, and political leaders; service providers; government representatives; and teachers, parents/guardians, and caregivers within the programme districts.

The programme draws from Sonke's gender transformative approach and SAfAIDS' Changing the River's Flow Models, which transform gender relations to promote equality through critical reflections and questioning of institutional practices and broader social norms found in Zimbabwe. "A unique principle of this programme, is that it does not begin by condemning existing cultural practices and norms. Rather, it catalyzes in-depth analysis of the linkages between culture, HIV and women's rights. And thus, methodically identifies high-impact entry points for influencing positive cultural transformation at community level, that result in a repeal of vulnerability to HIV."

The project is implementing the following activities:

  • Sonke will provide training to strengthen capacity of SAfAIDS staff and its four local partners on gender norms transformation theory, programme implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. Participants in these training sessions will become master trainers on gender norms transformation skills, who will cascade training to Community Gender Transformation Facilitators (CGTFs).
  • The CGTFs will then roll out training with young people, schools, and community clubs, and facilitate community actions with leaders and parents. Their function is to strengthen the capacity of 720 young people (10-24 years) in and out of 24 schools (6 per district) to practice equitable gender norms, practices, and attitudes. Click here for information about the facilitator's manual, which was developed by the programme.
  • The CGTFs will also run sessions to strengthen the capacity of 300 community leaders (including religious and traditional leaders) and 200 parents to reduce harmful cultural and religious practices that promote inequitable gender norms, risk for HIV, and GBV.
  • The programme undertakes policy advocacy and provides technical input into national policy and development processes.
  • Through programme monitoring and documentation, the project also seeks to promote learning and sharing of the intervention.
Development Issues: 

HIV, Gender, Youth, Culture

Key Points: 

Rationale for the programme:
“Zimbabwe is mainly a patriarchal society in which boys and girls are taught from early childhood to internalize societal messages about how males and females are expected to behave, who makes decisions, and where power dynamics lie. These behaviors contribute to reinforcing unequal gender roles and responsibilities that culminate into high risk of HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases. Such norms among young men and boys include early sexual activity, multiple sex partners, gender based violence and sexual dominance that increase vulnerability to contracting and spreading HIV. Despite growing understanding that gender transformation, including shifting gender power dynamics and norms are critical to realizing sexual and reproductive health, very few interventions have attempted to effectively address these norms in a sustainable and large scale fashion.”

Key findings of a baseline survey:
The programme conducted a baseline survey to help determine perceptions, attitudes, and practices of boys and girls (in and out of school) towards gender norms and equality within schools and communities; to determine perceptions, attitudes and practices of parents, guardians, and community leaders around gender norms and the gender socialisation of boys and girls; and to assess to what extent the school and community environment is conducive to gender equality.

In summary, the survey found that:   

  •     The low level of knowledge on HIV and SRH and rights among young people is concerning and calls for special attention to address this gap;
  •     Harmful gender norms and practices are real hindrances to the fight against HIV and AIDS;
  •     Findings are consistent with expectations and other similar surveys in general; and
  •     Findings confirm the relevance of the programme in the targeted areas and audience.

Ciick here for the Baseline Assessment Reports. 

Partner Text: 

SafAIDS and Sonke Gender Justice


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Improving Menstrual Hygiene Management in Emergencies: IFRC's MHM Kit

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Alice Robinson
Alice Obrecht
Publication Date
February 1, 2016

Jigsaw Consult (Robinson); Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action, or ALNAP (Obrecht)

"A key strength of this innovation process is the effort grantees have made to understand and incorporate the varying needs and preferences of beneficiaries and to seek their feedback on the products provided."

This case study explores International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)'s innovation process in developing and testing a comprehensive relief item to meet more effectively and appropriately the menstrual hygiene needs of women and girls in emergencies. It is based on a review of project literature and nine interviews with project staff, partner staff, advisors, and wider stakeholders across the humanitarian sector over a period of 2 months in 2015.


Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP) website, June 15 2016. Image caption/credit: Somali Red Crescent Society staff and volunteers conduct a focus group discussion in Dilla, Somaliland, to understand practices, challenges, knowledge and attitudes around menstrual hygiene. IFRC

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Tikambe: Let's talk about sex

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Author: Sandi Chimpala, June 6 2016 - Standing in a dark TV studio, Sharon Mutale poured out her heart.

"While in school I got pregnant...I was 16 years old. At that point my father stopped supporting me financially at school. He was very upset. When I met with my boyfriend I didn't know that I could get pregnant. I was so young...we were both young."

Now aged 19, Sharon hopes to continue with her education so she can get work to support her relatives and her child.

Let's talk

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Can the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System Be Used to Increase Vaccine Acceptance and Trust?

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Laura D. Scherer
Victoria Shaffer
Niraj Patel
Brian Zikmund-Fisher
Publication Date
April 1, 2016

University of Missouri (Scherer, Shaffer, Patel); University of Michigan (Zikmund-Fisher)

"One reason for vaccine hesitancy is lack of trust that vaccine harms are adequately documented and reported, yet few communication strategies have explicitly attempted to improve this trust."


Vaccine 34(21), April 2016. DOI: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2016.03.087 - sourced from "Reported Data on Vaccines May Not Build Public Trust Or Adherence", Science Newsline Medicine, June 1 2016 - accessed on June 3 2016. Image credit: Independent.ie

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Need to address the trauma from sexual abuse critical

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Author: PSAf Executive Director Lilian Kiefer, May 25 2016 - In many parts of our society, children in general and particularly girls are exposed to numerous vices that limit their opportunity to develop to their full potential. The vices that lead to this unfortunate circumstance are many, but most of them are preventable. Child sexual abuse is one such vice that ruins children’s lives, yet it can be prevented if children are protected effectively.

Children, especially girls, who suffer emotional, physical and/or mental abuse end up with very low aspirations, low self-confidence and low self-esteem which compromise their ability to unlock their own potential. Due to limited understanding and appreciation among stakeholders of the impact of abuse on children’s lives, supportive psychosocial actions for children are inadequate and most cases almost unavailable.

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Be a Man, Change the Rules: Findings and Lessons from Seven Years of CARE International Balkans' Young Men Initiative

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Sophie Namy
Brian Heilman
Shawna Stich
Keith J. Holyoak
Publication Date
January 1, 2014

International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)

"Understanding the gender norms and notions of masculinity that contribute to violent behaviors - and engaging young men to critically reflect on and address these social constructs - can help foster more gender-equitable attitudes and reduce violence."

This report explores lessons learned from the Young Men Initiative (YMI), a 7-year programme that has been promoting positive masculine identities among youth across the Western Balkans. Coordinated in this post-conflict region by CARE International Balkans, implemented by collaborating institutions in 4 countries (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, and Serbia), and evaluated by the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), YMI seeks to promote a lifestyle prioritising good health, nonviolence, and gender equality through a school-based curriculum - adapted from Promundo's Program H – plus community and social media campaigns. This synthesis report provides an overview of the programme's rationale, design, and evaluation results from YMI's second-phase implementation in vocational high schools.


Email from ICRW to The Communication Initiative on July 10 2014; "Redefining Masculinity in the Balkans", by Ibadet Dervishaj, June 16 2014 and ICRW website, June 9 2014 - both accessed on May 12 2016.

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Thinking Outside the Separate Space: A Decision-Making Tool for Designing Youth-Friendly Services

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Callie Simon
Regina Benevides
Gwyn Hainsworth
Gwendolyn Morgan
Katie Chau
Publication Date
Publication Date: 
May 1, 2015

This tool, developed for the international sexual and reproductive health (SRH) community, seeks to advance services tailored to young people's needs by helping programme designers to select and adapt appropriate youth-friendly service (YFS) delivery models, considering: the country context, the intended population, the desired behavioural and health outcomes, the services offered, and the needs and objectives for scalability and sustainability.


English and Spanish

Number of Pages: 



Evidence to Action (EA2) website, May 6 2016, and posting by Jennifer Parker to the IBP Knowledge Gateway, January 5 2017. Image credit: E2A

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A life-changing TV show

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Author: BBC Media Action's Bidhya Chapagain, May 5 2016 - I had first met Ujeli on a chilly morning outside a temporary shelter on top of a hill in Selang, Sindhupalchowk, just northeast of Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu. The encampment of rickety houses was home to 300 families, displaced from nearby villages by Nepal’s 2015 earthquake. Ujeli, a 15-year old girl, was one of the residents.

We’d spotted her playing with her friends while we were filming a special episode of Sajha Sawal (Common Questions), about improving accountability in Nepal's post-earthquake reconstruction efforts. The programme featured a Q&A between a government minister and villagers, who noted that the provision of adequate education and clean water had been slow. The minister promised he would highlight their issues in cabinet.

I found Ujeli very clever and full of dreams. She aspired to complete her education but was deeply worried she’d be married off before she had the chance.

She hoped, one day, of visiting the ‘tall buildings’ of the city. Her story touched thousands once the episode had broadcast and as a direct result of the programme, a benefactor offered her a scholarship to study at a school in Kathmandu.

I met Ujeli again last week, one year on from the earthquake that had destroyed her home and so many others.

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"Gifts and lifts": one reason girls drop out of school in South Sudan

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Author: Manyang David Mayar, April 26 2016 - In South Sudan, it’s not uncommon for older men to offer girls and young women gifts of transport, mobile phones and cash with the expectation of them starting a sexual relationship in return. This sometimes has disastrous consequences for their education.

Rose, aged 16, was a committed pupil before a relationship with an older man caused her to drop out of school. On her way to school one morning she arrived at the bus station and found there was no transport. She was stuck and didn’t know what to do when a man in his thirties cruised by in his car and offered her lift. Desperate not to be late for her morning lessons, she accepted the lift and jumped into the man’s car.

Rose, now 29, told her story to Florence Michael, a producer of Our School, a radio programme which discusses the importance of girls completing their education in South Sudan.

“On our way, he asked for my name, I introduced myself then he did the same,” Rose said. “Reaching school he asked me if we could meet again.”

Over the next few months, the man continued to give Rose lifts to school. He didn’t stop there. He gave her a whole variety of gifts, including money and a mobile phone. Not long after that, the man asked for something else.

He asked Rose to be his girlfriend. A few months later she was pregnant.

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