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"It Works!" Communication for HIV Prevention and Social Change in Adolescents: A Mid-Term Review

Author: 
Catharine Watson
Patrick Walungembe
Evelyn Namubiru
Asaac Kato
Tom Barton
February 1, 2009
Affiliation: 

Straight Talk Foundation

This 80-page evaluation, published by Straight Talk Foundation (STF), presents a mid-term review of the organisation's five year Strategic Plan (SP) for 2006 - 2010, which committed STF to increasing

Source: 

Scribd website on December 2 2009.

Evaluating Programs Reaching Very Young Adolescents: Experiences and Lessons from My Changing Body, A Body Literacy and Fertility Awareness Course

Author: 
Susan Igras
Rebecka Lundgren
Sujata Bijou
Marie Mukabatsinda
November 18, 2009
Affiliation: 

Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH)

This 38-slide presentation from the Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH) at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, United States (US) was presented at the

Source: 

IRH E-blast, November 2009.

Ethical Issues in Using Participatory Video in Addressing Gender Violence in and Around Schools: The Challenges of Representation

Author: 
Relebohile Moletsane
Claudia Mitchell
Jean Stuart
Shannon Walsh
Myra Taylor
March 1, 2008
Affiliation: 

Human Sciences Research Council (Moletsane); University of KwaZulu-Natal (Moletsane/Stuart/Taylor/Mitchell); McGill University, Canada (Mitchell/Walsh)

Source: 

Early Sexual Debut, Sexual Violence, and Sexual Risk-Taking among Pregnant Adolescents and Their Peers in Jamaica and Uganda

Author: 
Maxine Wedderburn
Jennifer Wagman
Cynthia Waszak Geary
Joy Noel Baumgartner
Heidi Toms Tucker
Laura Johnson
December 1, 2008
Affiliation: 

Hope Enterprises - Jamaica (Wedderburn), Rakai Health Sciences Program - Uganda (Wagman), FHI, Research - North Carolina, US (Waszak Geary, Baumgartner, Toms Tucker, Johnson)

Reaching Out to Teen Mothers in Malawi

Author: 
Maria Mayzel
Faith Kachala
Brad Kerner
August 1, 2009
Affiliation: 

Save the Children

This case study examines a communication initiative implemented by Save the Children (SC) to improve the health of Malawian women aged 10 to 24 and their children in the southern Mangochi district thr

Source: 

Email from Mia Foreman to The Communication Initiative on August 7 2009.

Reaching Out to Teen Mothers Initiative

In 1999, Save the Children (SC) launched a 5-year programme that used an array of approaches to improve the reproductive and sexual health of people aged 10 to 25 in the southern Mangochi district of Malawi.

Communication Strategies: 

SC's ARSH Malawi programming worked with young people, their families, and communities to educate youth about reproduction and health, to build the teens' skills in decision-making and life choices, and to provide the means to prevent unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV. But, with help from USAID and its own resources, SC also worked with young women who were already mothers. In line with SC's approach to ARSH, reaching out to teen mothers was understood to involve recognising the whole person - a mother's physical, mental, and social health. SC chose to reach out to teen mothers primarily as teens, with similar needs and interests as their peers, and secondarily as mothers and wives.

Specifically, SC set up Teen Mothers Clubs (TMCs) to provide young mothers with a venue in which to discuss their common concerns - openly and without stigma - and to get support from fellow teen mothers and friends. Each TMC met once or twice a week, with members facilitating their own meetings. Typical discussion topics in a TMC meeting: independence, self-reliance, and economic opportunity; self-esteem; return to school; domestic violence prevention and outreach; negotiating FP and condom use with a partner; benefits and side effects of FP use; safe motherhood and birth spacing; preventing STIs and HIV; and care of the newborn. The TMCs were also considered a convenient space for reaching teen mothers, who SC claims have higher unmet need for FP than their non-parent peers. Each club was linked to one or more local youth CBD agents who could provide FP information, advice, and methods, including oral contraceptives and condoms. Male outreach workers connected with husbands of teen mothers as a strategy to increase FP use and increase frequency of communication about FP.

TMC members linked their group meetings to outreach to other teenagers. Club members went door to door; performed music, dance, and drama; and participated in community meetings. "The main focus of our community outreach is to educate other adolescents about unwanted pregnancy and the difficulties of being a teen mother," explained one TMC member.

A key programme strategy was involving parents, community leaders, teachers, and chiefs - so-called "gatekeepers" due to their important role in youths' lives. In one such activity, a team of 4 gatekeepers, plus 2 in-school teen mothers and one teacher, raised awareness with community members and schoolgirls about the benefits of FP and the dangers of teen pregnancies. In one event, a Traditional Authority Chief stood in the presence of 5 village chiefs and more than 200 community members and advocated that parents should delay marrying off their daughters and instead keep them in school. SC also invited initiation counsellors - the women and men who guide children's initiation into adulthood - to attend an ARSH workshop where FP messages were developed and incorporated, along with HIV prevention practices, into messages passed on to initiates.

The above-described strategies were also reflected in SC's efforts to raise awareness about the Ministry of Education (MoE) policy on teen mothers' re-enrollment in school (see Key Points, below), the importance of re-enrollment, and young women's right to re-enroll. Community members and parents were encouraged to support mothers' education and learned of the benefits to the women, their children, and communities as a whole. Teachers and school officials also learned of the readmission policy and the importance of supporting teen mothers' return to and retention in school. Youth CBD agents also promoted return to school. SC staff visited and counselled some of the teen mothers, preparing them to be assertive and prevent pregnancies before achieving their educational goals. Further, SC worked with local non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the District Education Office, and secondary schools to locate financial assistance for young mothers wishing to re-enroll. Finally, project staff encouraged teens who had returned to school to participate actively in TMCs alongside those who had not, so that members could learn from each others' experience.

Development Issues: 

Girls and Women, Reproductive Health, Education.

Key Points: 

Figures cited by SC indicate that Malawi's total fertility rate is high (5.6 children per woman) and contraceptive prevalence is low (28%). The adult HIV/AIDS prevalence rate is 15%, and young Malawian women are 3-5 times more likely than young men to be infected with HIV. Upwards of 20% of people aged 15 to 23 are HIV-positive. Even so, only 6% of sexually active 15- to 19-year-old women report using condoms.

Nearly 30% of Malawian girls aged 15 to 19 report being married, and one-third of adolescent women will have been pregnant or given birth by the time they reach 20. Most of these births occur within marriage or in union, yet pregnancy among unmarried teens has increased in recent years. Teen pregnancy is associated with poor health outcomes for woman and baby, but can also entail stigmatisation of young mothers, school dropout, and decreased likelihood that an adolescent will resume schooling after her baby is born. Traditionally, young women who are already mothers are expected to devote themselves wholly to their children and husbands, and this includes dropping out of school and ceasing to socialise with their peers.

In Malawi, 31% of girls complete primary school and 11% graduate from secondary school. Girls' dropout rate is higher than boys'; it is attributed to family responsibilities, early marriage, and pregnancy. In 1993, the Malawian MoE passed a law allowing teen mothers to return to school after the birth of a child. The policy dictates that a pregnant teen must write a letter withdrawing herself from school while she is pregnant. She must wait at least 6 months after the baby is born before reapplying for admission, at which time she must send two requests: one to the MoE and one to the school. She can be readmitted only once; if she drops out of school a second time she will be permanently expelled. SC found that most teachers, parents, and students were not aware of this policy. Young mothers in Mangochi rarely re-enrolled, and the few who tried reported discrimination and ridicule.

Partner Text: 

SC, with USAID funding.

Contact Information: 
Source: 

"Reaching Out to Teen Mothers in Malawi" [PDF], forwarded by Mia Foreman to The Communication Initiative on August 7 2009; and email from Brad Kerner to The Communication Initiative on April 11 2013.

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Featured

This study on information and communication technologies (ICTs), such as mobile phones, computers, and the internet, examines the ways in which these tools can contribute to child-focused development goals. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Office of Research - Innocenti initiated the study in collaboration with the...

"All over the world, irrespective of income levels, class or culture, children are faced with violence and abuse in schools.... In fact, child helplines worldwide receive an average of ten contacts per day, every day, about violence and abuse."

Author: Michael Feigelson, August 25 2014 - In 2007, The Lancet medical journal published an article stating that more than 200 million children under five fail to reach their potential in cognitive...

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Experiences

"Child health records help ensure every child receives the vaccines they need to live a healthy and productive life. However, many health records are lost or destroyed, not accurately maintained, or are simply too confusing to read."

This 3-year programme aims to engage marginalised children and youth in their rights to health and education services in 8 countries: Afghanistan, Georgia, Mali, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, Tanzania, and Viet Nam. Activities in each country are tailored to the specific contexts and conditions children and young people experience, but all come...

The Child Security Index (CSI), developed in Brazil by the Igarapé Institute, is an open source smart phone app that maps out children’s voices and...

"[W]e followed the jokes into the lives of the joke tellers - fearless members of an exploding global comedy underground who are raising their voices, making people laugh and making people think. There's nothing inherently funny about hunger, poverty and disease. But there's something powerfully life-affirming about laughing in the face of...

"Children will now be able to join the ranks of other rights-holders who are empowered to bring their complaints about human rights violations before an international body."

 

Social circus training and an inclusive park for children of all abilities were the result of collaboration among the government of Ecuador and municipalities, circus arts teachers, and social workers in the city of Cuenca, province of Azuay, Ecuador. Developing performance and communication skills through the training of Canadian Cirque de...

Humara Bachpan is an Indian national campaign on living conditions for young children in urban poverty. The campaign calls for inclusion of child friendly components in urban renewable policies such as Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (...

"If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a million."

HealthPhone™ is a resource using the medium of video transmitted through mobile phones that is designed to improve the health of economically poor and vulnerable populations around the world. "A mobile phone, with basic health information embedded on the...

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The Our Tukul radio magazine and Life in Lulu radio drama, both produced by BBC Media Action in South Sudan, are working to address reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child health. The programmes are broadcast across the country, and the production is accompanied by capacity building for local production teams. Life In Lulu and Our Tukul are...

"Hands are waving excitedly as students gather at Al Meraj School in one of the poorest areas of Pakistan's second largest city, Lahore. 'What is polio?' asks the teacher. 'And who should be given the polio vaccine?' 'It's a virus," says one young student. 'All children under five!' shouts another, before any of the other nearly 200...

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Advocacy

This study on information and communication technologies (ICTs), such as mobile phones, computers, and the internet, examines the ways in which these tools can contribute to child-focused development goals. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Office of Research - Innocenti initiated the study in collaboration with the...

"All over the world, irrespective of income levels, class or culture, children are faced with violence and abuse in schools.... In fact, child helplines worldwide receive an average of ten contacts per day, every day, about violence and abuse."

Author: Michael Feigelson, August 25 2014 - In 2007, The Lancet medical journal published an article stating that more than 200 million children under five fail to reach their potential in cognitive...

"Awareness of the legalities of child marriage - it's outlawed in most countries around the world - has little bearing on behaviour because customary laws, social norms and poverty-driven economic needs often trump national policies and legislation."

"Mobilization around the problem of child marriage has been very successful. A shared vision and narrative of the promising or successful program examples at all levels will help drive resources toward programs and research that will contribute to ending child marriage."

Author: Richard Alam, August 14 2014 - After 3 years of civil war, or revolution or civil unrest (I’m not sure what to call it anymore…) the world now faces one of the worst humanitarian crises in the modern history of the Middle East - or to be geographically accurate, West Asia. Over three million Syrian children are internally displaced, and...

"The three A&T country programs reached more than 11 million mothers of children under two years of age within the first three years of implementation through interpersonal communication and/or mass media."

"The global early childhood development (ECD) community proposes a global goal and urgent call to action to ensure that all children under the age of 5 reach their developmental potential through access to quality ECD programs and policies. In addition, it calls for increased investment in and attention to the early primary grades (1 to 3) as...

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Evaluations

"Mobilization around the problem of child marriage has been very successful. A shared vision and narrative of the promising or successful program examples at all levels will help drive resources toward programs and research that will contribute to ending child marriage."

"The three A&T country programs reached more than 11 million mothers of children under two years of age within the first three years of implementation through interpersonal communication and/or mass media."

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Digital

This study on information and communication technologies (ICTs), such as mobile phones, computers, and the internet, examines the ways in which these tools can contribute to child-focused development goals. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Office of Research - Innocenti initiated the study in collaboration with the...

"...[T]he media children use can have a profound impact - both positive and negative - on learning, social development, and behavior. The only way to maximize the positive impact of media on children is to have an accurate understanding of the role it plays in their lives: which platforms they are using, the activities or content they are...

"This report shows how, on a daily basis, eHealth innovations are improving access to care and assisting women to take control of their own health...[T]hrough the use of ICTs, health-care professionals and the women and children they care for, are better able to share important health information as well as communicate amongst themselves...

This 3-year programme aims to engage marginalised children and youth in their rights to health and education services in 8 countries: Afghanistan, Georgia, Mali, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, Tanzania, and Viet Nam. Activities in each country are tailored to the specific contexts and conditions children and young people experience, but all come...

"The research finds that a wide range of factors currently inhibit media in the three countries sampled from playing a more substantive role in promoting awareness of child rights, as well as in helping children realize their rights and in holding government accountable."

This 46-page report discusses how children and young people are using information and communication technologies (ICT) before and during migration, as well as how organisations supporting children and youth are using ICT in their work. According to the report, "children and young people are using ICTs to prepare for migration; to guide and...

Author: Lisa Jordan, crossposted on May 14 2014 - Even with youth unemployment at high levels, business leaders complain that they cannot find graduates with the right skills for the modern workplace. A new report from McKinsey published this month found that although almost a quarter of the young people across the European Union are unemployed...

Author: Lisa Jordan, crossposted on May 14 2014: Over the past two days I have had the pleasure of re-imagining learning and play - with a group of 250 school teachers, digital designers, and play advocates brought together by the LEGO foundation.

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From the Consultative Group on Early Childhood Care and Development, the strategies in the document are intended to help policy- and decision-makers understand the importance of early childhood development (ECD) to global development and raise it in" Post-2015" deliberations on the development of "Sustainable Development Goals" (SDGs). The...

"[W]e followed the jokes into the lives of the joke tellers - fearless members of an exploding global comedy underground who are raising their voices, making people laugh and making people think. There's nothing inherently funny about hunger, poverty and disease. But there's something powerfully life-affirming about laughing in the face of...

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Film and Video

"Awareness of the legalities of child marriage - it's outlawed in most countries around the world - has little bearing on behaviour because customary laws, social norms and poverty-driven economic needs often trump national policies and legislation."

This 3-year programme aims to engage marginalised children and youth in their rights to health and education services in 8 countries: Afghanistan, Georgia, Mali, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, Tanzania, and Viet Nam. Activities in each country are tailored to the specific contexts and conditions children and young people experience, but all come...

From the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) India, this repository of information, education, and communication (IEC) materials offers links to booklets, posters, books, toolkits, flash cards, documentaries, radio public service announcements (PSAs), and other free downloads designed to foster the communication strategies of practitioners...

"This edition explores the approaches and evidence for the effectiveness of a range of programmes that have been developed to educate and support parents in becoming more responsive to their children."

These three videos in a series from Pathfinder demonstrate the method of their "Tailored Reflection and Integrated Learning", or TRAIL, model of community mobilisation and action.

This is an evaluation of Sisimpur, an adaptation co-production of Sesame Street, the educational television series broadcast in the United States (US), localised by Bangladeshi producers to meet the needs of children in Bangladesh. (Please see Related Summaries below for further details, but, in brief:) Sisimpur is...

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Strategic Thinking

This study on information and communication technologies (ICTs), such as mobile phones, computers, and the internet, examines the ways in which these tools can contribute to child-focused development goals. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Office of Research - Innocenti initiated the study in collaboration with the...

"All over the world, irrespective of income levels, class or culture, children are faced with violence and abuse in schools.... In fact, child helplines worldwide receive an average of ten contacts per day, every day, about violence and abuse."

"Awareness of the legalities of child marriage - it's outlawed in most countries around the world - has little bearing on behaviour because customary laws, social norms and poverty-driven economic needs often trump national policies and legislation."

"Mobilization around the problem of child marriage has been very successful. A shared vision and narrative of the promising or successful program examples at all levels will help drive resources toward programs and research that will contribute to ending child marriage."

"The three A&T country programs reached more than 11 million mothers of children under two years of age within the first three years of implementation through interpersonal communication and/or mass media."

"The global early childhood development (ECD) community proposes a global goal and urgent call to action to ensure that all children under the age of 5 reach their developmental potential through access to quality ECD programs and policies. In addition, it calls for increased investment in and attention to the early primary grades (1 to 3) as...

From the abstract of this UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre working paper:  "This initial exploratory study examines the governance and finance of ECS [early childhood services] in three countries using an in-depth qualitative approach. The methodologies and tools provide an innovative strategy built upon the literature of...

"This report shows how, on a daily basis, eHealth innovations are improving access to care and assisting women to take control of their own health...[T]hrough the use of ICTs, health-care professionals and the women and children they care for, are better able to share important health information as well as communicate amongst themselves...

"The research finds that a wide range of factors currently inhibit media in the three countries sampled from playing a more substantive role in promoting awareness of child rights, as well as in helping children realize their rights and in holding government accountable."

"'In the beginning people felt afraid. They started to ask us who we are,' says Muhammed, a local volunteer working to immunise children against polio in Syria's Al-Hasakah governate, where heavy fighting has taken place. 'I have taken the vaccine myself in front of the families, just to show them it is safe.'"

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Enhance Social Protection

"Addressing community-level factors (CLFs) is integral to the ongoing effort to design multilevel, effective, and sustainable interventions to address each element of the HIV/AIDS treatment cascade." This review examined 100 evaluations of communication interventions designed to create a more positive environment for HIV testing and access to...

Elias Banda

Author: Elias Banda, June 23 2014 - The large number of Zambian school girls under the age of 16-years-old falling pregnant within the school system is a serious cause for concern that should make all of us to pause and seek honest answers on how to curb child pregnancy.

"From the beginning, the education sector has played a central role in responding to HIV. However, its role and the contribution of school-based HIV education has been the subject of much debate."

"Leaders from around the world attending the 2011 High Level Meeting on AIDS committed to work towards the elimination of new HIV infections among children by 2015 and reducing AIDS-related maternal mortality. This is to be accomplished through the implementation of a new Global Plan for scaling up comprehensive prevention of mother-to-child...

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Effectiveness of HIV Prevention for Youth

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UNICEF

This study on information and communication technologies (ICTs), such as mobile phones, computers, and the internet, examines the ways in which these tools can contribute to child-focused development goals. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Office of Research - Innocenti initiated the study in collaboration with the...

From the abstract of this UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre working paper:  "This initial exploratory study examines the governance and finance of ECS [early childhood services] in three countries using an in-depth qualitative approach. The methodologies and tools provide an innovative strategy built upon the literature of...

"'In the beginning people felt afraid. They started to ask us who we are,' says Muhammed, a local volunteer working to immunise children against polio in Syria's Al-Hasakah governate, where heavy fighting has taken place. 'I have taken the vaccine myself in front of the families, just to show them it is safe.'"

From the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) India, this repository of information, education, and communication (IEC) materials offers links to booklets, posters, books, toolkits, flash cards, documentaries, radio public service announcements (PSAs), and other free downloads designed to foster the communication strategies of practitioners...

"The introduction of any new vaccine into routine vaccination programs requires a complex set of activities including: mobilization and leverage of political will and country leadership; advocacy and communications; advanced planning...; broad engagement of stakeholders...; alignment of staff and resources; and, allocation of sufficient and...

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Walker, Chang, Powell, & Baker-Henningham. (2012).  Building human capacity through early childhood interventions: The Child Development Research Programme at the Tropical Medicine Research Institute, The University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica.  West Indian Medical Journal, 61(4), 316-322

...

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