Programme on Sexual Health and Human Rights (PROSAD)

Officially launched in January 2004 and scheduled to conclude in 2015, the Programme on Sexual Health and Human Rights (PROSAD) builds on the work begun by a German-Burkinabe family planning programme launched in 1995. PROSAD works in the East and Southwestern regions of Burkina Faso to raise awareness about the human rights of women, youth, and children, and provides a range of services and mechanisms that allow them to take advantage of those rights. Working through information sharing, capacity development, and behaviour change communication (BCC) that include theatre, animations, counselling, and capacity building, the programme seeks to engage individuals, families, communities, and leaders to work together for human rights.

Communication Strategies: 

PROSAD has three components. The first focuses on youth and their needs for information and services in the areas of family planning, sexual and reproductive health, and prevention, care, and treatment for HIV/AIDS. The second focuses on women and girls and their need for information about their basic rights and mechanisms they can turn to when their rights are violated, with special attention to stopping female genital mutilation (FGM) and to enrolling and retaining girls in school. The third focuses on children and their need for protection from child trafficking and the worst forms of child labour.

PROSAD works to provide strategic information on which to base effective planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. It places particular emphasis on qualitative information, which is enriched by PROSAD’s strong commitment to action at the local level, where a range of people contribute their own knowledge and experience of community traditions, customs, attitudes, and practices. The programme also works with key Ministries to build the capacity of their regional, provincial, and local branches and to forge partnerships with and build the capacity of non-governmental organisations, village councils, and others. According to PROSAD, this has resulted in teams of trained professionals and volunteers in health and social services plus provincial and village committees sharing responsibility for raising people’s awareness and intervening when, for example, a woman’s rights are violated or a child is trafficked.

PROSAD emphasises developing and supporting the use of a range of interactive BCC approaches and tools, including the following:

  • "Dialogue en famille" (Family Dialogue) counselling sessions that engage whole families (i.e. males and females of all generations) in discussion and debate about women's rights, help them identify and resolve their own particular women's rights-related issues or, if appropriate, help them access the assistance of professional social workers;
  • primary and secondary school courses on FGM that help young people come to the conclusion that FGM is not a good practice and should be stopped;
  • forum theatre presentations that engage people of all ages in discussion and debate about various issues addressed in any or all components of PROSAD;
  • GRAAP-method-based animations (see below for more information) that use cartoons, acting, dancing, and music to encourage people of all ages to think for themselves and engage in discussion and debate about children’s rights, child trafficking, and the worst forms of child labour;
  • professional and lay counselling on family planning, sexual and reproductive health, FGM, and other issues;
  • peer education on family planning, sexual and reproductive health, and HIV in schools, youth centres, and other venues;
  • dispute resolution that includes arbitration, assisted by lay counsellors, between women and the village elders or blacksmiths who normally resolve family disputes and, if necessary, resort to professional social workers and intervention by the police or other authorities.

The GRAAP method is an animation strategy developed by the Burkina-based Groupe de Recherche et d’Appui pour l’Autopromotion Paysanne (GRAAP) which is designed to support community self-development. GRAAP and the Centres d’Etudes Economiques et Sociales d’Afrique Occidentale (CESAO) collaborate on providing training to local animators. PROSAD has collaborated with both to develop material and provide training for animations that engage people in thinking about child trafficking and the worst forms of child labour. The method makes use of cartoons encased in plastic that adhere to a "flannel", a special cloth that can be pinned to a wall or hung over a board. An animator asks questions and, as the audience answers, the animator pins cartoons illustrating the answers to the flannel until the whole story is told of the causes, consequences, and solutions. The idea is to take participants through three steps: to see, to reflect, and to act.

PROSAD has worked with the ministries responsible for women and social action to develop a BCC model that uses the family unit as the setting for education and dialogue aimed at promoting women's rights and putting an end to FGM and violence against women. PROSAD is currently supporting collaboration between the two ministries and two community-based organisations to test and refine this model. This involves training community members as animators capable of introducing one of three topics (women’s rights, violence against women, and FGM) at a particular family session, playing a 15-minute tape on that topic, and then animating discussion. The goal is to help family members of both genders and all ages identify where there is conflict in the family now or potential for conflict in the future, and to find ways of calming or avoiding the conflict.

Development Issues: 

Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights

Partner Text: 

Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) and Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)


GTZ website and German HIV Practice Collection on July 26 2010.

Photograph by Werner Heuler-Neuhaus.


Thats very interesting.

Thats very interesting. Program on sexual health should help people in awareness of sexual health and HIV. It will help society to be aware of things to do and things which should not be done for their personal health care. When it comes to sex, people just consume generic viagra tablets for stamina and indulge in intercourse without protection which result in AIDS.




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