Publication Date
March 1, 2006
Affiliation: 

Population Services International (PSI)/Kenya

Supported by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Kenya, the "Nimechill," (Swahili-English slang meaning "I have chilled" or "I am abstaining") campaign aimed to delay teen sexual debut by changing social norms and reducing peer pressure, creating stigma regarding irresponsible, early sex among youth and making abstinence a "cool", smart and responsible choice. This study identifies perceptions that influence abstinence in urban 10-14 year olds, evaluates Nimechill’s effectiveness in changing those perceptions and abstinence levels over a seven month period (September 2004 to April 2005), and provides guidance for future abstinence promotion campaigns.

Nimechill’s aim was to change three perceptions correlated with abstinence: social norms, self-efficacy and behavioural intentions to remain abstinent. Nimechill’s persuasion strategy was based on positive affect (messages were optimistic and encouraging, rather than risk based) and positive deviance (messages featured older youth, aged 14-16, defying early teenage sex norms). The campaign was delivered through television, radio, print, billboards, poster, T-shirts, and event sponsorships.


This evaluation is based on two cross sectional survey rounds (September 2004 and April 2005). Male and female respondents, ages 10-14, were randomly sampled from households in Kenya’s 13 largest towns.

The campaign’s evaluation results revealed that 42% of youth aged 10-14 had seen the campaign on at least one media channel (TV, radio, print, billboard, or poster) and an additional 44% had seen the campaign on three or more channels. A multiple regression analysis examining two rounds of surveys performed before and after the campaign revealed that youth exposed to three or more channels were twelve times more likely than youth who had not seen any Chill advertisements to strongly agree with the statement "I will abstain from sex until marriage."

Youth exposed to one or two channels as well as youth exposed to three or more channels also scored significantly higher than unexposed youth in a separate regression analysis on a scale measuring respondents' beliefs in their own ability to abstain from sex. This means that despite variations in individual background, residence, religious preference, participation in other HIV/AIDS educational programmes and access to media, exposure to the Chill campaign was strongly and statistically related to positive beliefs and attitudes toward abstinence from premarital sex.

Anecdotally, the phrase "Chill" became so catchy that a variety of politicians and influential public leaders have been photographed with groups of youth raising the "V" or "Chill" sign that was established within the campaign. Mini-buses, often colourfully decorated with pictures of international music and sports stars, have taken the initiative to commission their own Chill logos for placement on their vehicles. In addition, entrepreneurs have manufactured their own Chill bumper stickers and regularly sell them for their own profit in bars and petrol stations around Nairobi. During the campaign, articles on youth and "chilling" regularly appeared in the national newspapers and weekly discussions about "chilling" took place both formally and informally on the radio.

The recommendations from this evaluation suggest that objectives for future campaigns should relate to social norms, self-efficacy and risk perception and focus on achieving high or multiple channel exposure. Campaigns should consider favouring males in messages and may consider using a risk based persuasion strategy in addition to or instead of positive affect. Campaigns longer than seven months are required to impact behaviour. Alternative measures for behaviour are needed for younger youth who are below the average age of sexual debut.

MDG Text: 

The campaign’s evaluation results revealed that 42% of youth aged 10-14 had seen the campaign on at least one media channel (TV, radio, print, billboard, or poster) and an additional 44% had seen the campaign on three or more channels. A multiple regression analysis examining two rounds of surveys performed before and after the campaign revealed that youth exposed to three or more channels were twelve times more likely than youth who had not seen any Chill advertisements to strongly agree with the statement "I will abstain from sex until marriage."

Youth exposed to one or two channels as well as youth exposed to three or more channels also scored significantly higher than unexposed youth in a separate regression analysis on a scale measuring respondents' beliefs in their own ability to abstain from sex. This means that despite variations in individual background, residence, religious preference, participation in other HIV/AIDS educational programmes and access to media, exposure to the Chill campaign was strongly and statistically related to positive beliefs and attitudes toward abstinence from premarital sex.

Source: 

PSI website on October 19 2005 and June 26 2006.