This is a multi-media edutainment and social mobilisation project focused on reaching adolescents and youth 12-19 years of age - with and emphasis on the 15-19 age group, and addressing sexual and reproductive health, adolescent pregnancy, gender-based violence, and respect for sexual diversity. The communication strategy includes research, edutainment, social mobilisation, advocacy, and interpersonal communication with adolescents, youth, and key social actors such as peers, parents, teachers, and health social services providers. This project is being implemented by Fundación Imaginario, the National Program for the Promotion of Rights and Social Networks for Peace (PPRSNP) of the Presidential Council for Special Programs, and Universidad del Norte, and draws on the experiences of both the Soul City Institute for Health and Development Communication in South Africa and Puntos de Encuentro in Nicaragua.
In 2010, the project will be implemented specifically in four municipalities of four departments of Colombia: San Gil (Santander), Barbosa (Antioquia), El Carmen de Bolívar (Bolívar), and Valle del Guamuez (Putumayo).
The strategy makes use of the following key principles: the use of evidence and a systematic approach; research; strengthening of local capacities; and local participation.
Drawing upon a baseline study conducted in 2009, the project aims to contribute to the critical reflection and transformation of social, community, family, and individual practices in order to facilitate the exercising of sexual and reproductive health by adolescents and youth. Instead of focusing on short term individual behaviour change strategies, this project attempts to stimulate public dialogue and debate in order to allow individuals and communities to challenge existing social norms and cultural practices that prevent youth and adolescents from fully exercising their sexual and reproductive rights. Themes that will be addressed include: decision making on sexual and reproductive health with emphasis on adolescent pregnancy; gender-based violence; and respect for sexual diversity.
Project activities will be implemented on three levels:
- Strategic partnerships with government institutions and technical cooperation agencies.
- Design and production of an edutainment television drama.
- Broadcast of an edutainment TV drama through:
- Public TV channel "CANAL 13", which reaches nine departments across the country.
- At least four regional channels (Telecaribe, Teleantioquia, TRO (Televisión Regional de Occidente), and Telepacífico), with a potential audience of 9,769,134 people in 270 municipalities of the four departments that have been prioritised.
- Media advocacy with newspapers such as: EL MUNDO, EL COLOMBIANO, and QUEHUBO, in Antioquia; VANGUARDIA LIBERAL in Santander; DIARIO DEL SUR in Putumayo; and EL UNIVERSAL in Bolívar.
- Participatory theatre for development aimed at creating spaces for participation, dialogue, and reflection among adolescents.
- Community radio broadcasts with radio magazines and radio debates to facilitate public dialogue. Eight community radio programmes will be produced and broadcast in 37 municipalities of the four prioritised departments (10 in Antioquia, 10 in Santander, 10 in Bolívar, and 7 in Putumayo).
- Healthy talks - public conversations that seek to facilitate an enabling environment for dialogue.
- Educational sessions on sexuality to be held at those educational institutions that are already working on sexuality issues under the guidelines of the Ministry of Education. These include the Olympics on sexuality, the sexuality tunnels, and other initiatives that seek to promote dialogue and learning about sexual and reproductive health, as well as the production of educational materials that will further explain the content of the TV drama series.
- Interpersonal communication - through activities that will facilitate dialogue between health and social services providers and youth and adolescents, in order to strengthen supply and demand of sexual and reproductive health services.
- Social mobilisation of local networks.
- Monitoring and evaluation of local activities, in collaboration with the local networks in the prioritised municipalities. Monitoring activities will track implementation of planned activities and early feedback on various communication components. The evaluation of the strategy will be contingent upon availability of resources and might range from a focused evaluation in the four prioritised municipalities to a larger sample of municipalities across the various departments that the edutainment component of the strategy will reach. However, because of the nature of the strategy, the focus of the evaluation will be on how the various communicative components have sparked dialogue and debate, involved various social actors, mobilised communities and institutions, and challenged existing social norms.
Youth, Reproductive Health, Sexual Health, Gender Equity and Rights, Diversity.
The themes chosen as a focus for this project - sexual and reproductive health, adolescent pregnancy, gender-based violence, and respect for sexual diversity - were drawn from a baseline study, formative research that included focus groups and in-depth interviews with key players and stakeholders, other existing studies on sexual and reproductive health of youth and adolescents, and contributions from other stakeholders within Colombia (i.e., government and civil society organisations).
This project also draws heavily on the strength of the social networks that the PPRNSP has formed and supported across departments and municipalities of the country. Thus, the project brings together edutainment, social mobilisation, and other communication components that will enhance efforts at department and local levels.
Fundación Imaginario, National Program for the Promotion of Rights and Social Networks for Peace (PPRSNP) of the Presidential Council for Special Programs, Universidad del Norte, the Colombian Ministry of Social Protection (MPS), the Colombian Ministry of Education (MEN), and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in collaboration with the Intersectoral Working Group for Infants, Adolescents and Youth.
Executive Summary: Edutainment and mobilization for social change: For the promotion of the human, sexual, and reproductive rights of Colombia’s youth and adolescents, provided to The Communication Initiative by Fundación Imaginario on August 19 2010.