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Soul City Regional Programme on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

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The Soul City Institute for Health and Development Communication is partnering with organisations in seven Southern African countries to address sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) issues affecting youth and mobile populations. The regional partnership focuses on the effective development and dissemination of social behaviour change communication at country level to create awareness of SRHR and its link to HIV.

Communication Strategies: 

The specific objectives are this project are to:

  • Intensify cross border Social and Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) interventions with a particular focus on high risk groups and migrant populations.
  • Develop in-country SBCC interventions targeting young people in SRHR including HIV & AIDS prevention for use in countries and aligned with national policies.
  • Develop strong political leadership on HIV and SRHR in the region, as well as consolidate regional alliances and partnerships to intensify SBCC interventions.
  • Advocate among leaders at local, national, regional and global level for increased promotion of human rights and gender equality and effective SBCC.

To meet these objectives, Soul City and it's partners based in other Southern African countries have been engaged in the following activities:

Developing SRHR pamphlets for sex workers at borders in Namibia, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
Stakeholder consultations were held and audience research conducted to identify the relevant topics, knowledge gaps, and information prior to the production of the pamphlets. Each country partner in the Soul City regional programme conducted stakeholder interviews with 2-3 organisations and also conducted consultations with sex workers at border areas. The results from this formative research were put into a message brief to be used to develop pamphlets that are country specific and speak to issues affecting sex workers at borders. In developing the pamphlets sharing ideas between country partners strengthened the products.

Production of audio materials for truck drivers
As a strategy to reach truck drivers at border areas and to create awareness on HIV prevention, Soul City is re-producing a total of 2000 CDs and 100 USBs to be distributed in Namibia, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The CDs and USBs will have OneLove radio drama stories in local languages with country specific content and they will be distributed amongst truck drivers in the border areas.

Set up of TVs and DVDs at wellness centres by borders areas
Soul City, through its partners, set up TVs and DVDs in wellness centres at border areas in Namibia, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. These TVs and DVDs are being used to screen Soul City Untold and Love stories short films (see related links at the bottom of the page) for mobile populations and community members at border areas.

Production of two youth SRHR TV talk shows in Malawi and Swaziland
Soul City is supporting Pakachere (Malawi) and Lusweti (Swaziland) to produce TV talk shows for young people between the ages of 12-25 years. The goal of the TV shows is to create awareness, promote self-efficacy, shift attitudes and norms, and impact on behaviours of youths as primary target audience on sexual and reproductive health rights.

Development of youth SRHR booklet in 7 countries
Soul City has worked with the 7 country partners in the regional programme to develop SRHR booklets. Literature reviews conducted in the first year of the project revealed gaps and issues at national level around SRHR and young peoples, which guided the development of the booklets. Booklets are expected to be published in the second half of 2013.

Social mobilisation around border communities
Since April/May 2013, the Soul City partners have been conducting social mobilisation activities at border posts. These have included community dialogues, meetings and events in conjunction with local partners at border areas and nearby communities. Increasingly, the use of community conversation toolkits developed by C-Change and Soul City are being integrated into these activities.

E-platforms and knowledge management
The Soul Beat Africa platform has launched a SRHR website highlighting the specific focus areas of this SRHR initiative – youth, sex workers, and mobile/border populations, as well as information on SRHR programmes and studies from other areas of Africa. Soul City and regional partner initiatives, materials, and studies are published on this website and highlighted in various Soul Beat e-newsletters.

Formative research on female condoms and youth (UNFPA)
This formative research in Malawi was conducted with the support of Pakachere Institute for Health and Development Communication to understand youth knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of female condom use. The research used Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and indepth interviews with young people between the ages of 15 and 24 years. It also included a literature review. Once completed the results will be used to develop a DVD that addresses female condom use amongst youth in Africa.

Social media training workshop for young people in Africa (UNFPA)
Soul City with the support of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) held a 5-day social media workshop from 12 – 16 August 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The purpose of the training workshop was to enhance capacity of 60-70 young people from Africa on the use of social media as an advocacy tool to address the inter linkages between SRH, gender equality, HIV prevention, and poverty reduction. At the end of the training, the participants developed work plans on how they are going to use different social media platforms to promote and create awareness of SRHR for young people at country level.

Mapping of youth SRH and HIV prevention programmes and organisations in Eastern and Southern Africa (UNFPA)
The focus of the mapping survey is to update and broaden the scope of the Survey Report produced by UNFPA in 2006. The survey focused on establishing information on the status of youth programming, including SRH and HIV prevention programmes, at country level in Eastern and Southern Africa. The survey is scheduled to be completed in September 2013.

Partnerships and advocacy

  • Through the programme Soul City has managed to engage in regional partnerships and has collaborated with Southern African Development Community (SADC), UN agencies, and other development partners such as the Southern Africa Litigation Centre, Regional African HIV/AIDS NGOs (RAANGO), and Regional AIDS Training Network (RATN) networks.
  • A year of implementing this project has reaffirmed the need to engage government as a strategy to ensure sustainability of interventions especially at border areas. In both Namibia and Zimbabwe, the projects are being implemented with support from District AIDS Coordinators and Governors at the border areas as a strategy to build synergies that can in turn facilitate opportunities for further resource mobilisation.
  • National level partnerships have been created with organisations such as Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders (MSF), North Star Alliance, and other community-based organisations to extend the reach, impact, and potential sustainability.
  • Soul City will be hosting a regional SBCC symposium in November 2013 with the theme "Enhancing regional leadership and strengthening alliances on HIV and SRHR to promote Social Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) interventions in the region". The symposium will bring together key stakeholders at regional and national level including government, civil society organisations (gender and HIV), UN agencies, donor agencies, human rights organisations, and development partners to engage and share experiences on SBCC programmes, reflecting on evidence for their effectiveness.
  • As part of their advocacy work, Soul City and its partners have attended various key regional meetings and conferences to share experiences of their SBCC work in the region.
Development Issues: 

HIV/AIDS, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Partner Text: 

Soul City Institute for Health and Development Communication(South Africa), Pakachere Institute for Health and Development Communication (Malawi), Desert Soul Health and Development Communication (Namibia), N'weti Health Communication (Mozambique), Lusweti Institute for Health Development Communication (Swaziland), PHELA Health and Development Communications (Lesotho); Zambia Centre for Communication Programmes (Zambia), Action Institute for Environment Health and Development Communication (Zimbabwe), and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Funded by Sweden and Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad)  


Soul City website on September 4 2013.

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Maziko Project

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Launched in 2009, Maziko is working to prevent HIV among out of school youths in Malawi, encouraging them to take responsibility for their health and well-being. Using a television and radio talk show, community mobilisation, and social media, the project is designed to address issues of concurrent multiple partnerships (CMP) and intergenerational sex, as well as highlight sexual and reproductive health (SRH) matters among young people.

Communication Strategies: 

The project uses the following complementary communication strategies:

Television magazine programme

The Maziko programme centres on a television talk show, which airs on Sundays at 7pm and features voices and perspectives of young people. The first Maziko television talk show was launched in 2011 with 42 episodes running until mid 2012. A second series was launched in March 2013.

Radio magazine programme

The 30-minute Maziko radio magazine programme is broadcast on five radio stations, MBC radio 1 & 2, Capital FM, Joy radio and Trans-world radio. It is an interactive programme where a talk show host discusses with youth various sexual and reproductive health issues that affect them. Youth are engaged in debates about their sexual health, where they explore issues that are rarely discussed among themselves and with parents because they are perceived as taboo.

Radio listening clubs

The listening clubs are linked to the Maziko Radio Magazine programme. The clubs meet on a weekly basis to listen to the radio and discuss as a group what that day's programme means to them. Each club has a trained facilitator who uses a facilitator guide to guide the discussion. Each club is provided with a wind up radio. After listening to the programmes and discussing, the groups are tasked to carry out community outreach activities to share and disseminate what they have learned in the programme with community members. Where possible, joint community outreach activities are planned with the clubs as a way of supporting and motivating the groups to implement these activities. There are currently 144 NAC radio listener clubs existing in 8 districts/provinces.

In terms of establishing the clubs, Pakachere first of all holds introductory/buy-in meetings with district assembly partners in the specific districts that they want to work in. In the meetings, they explain the project's objectives, the groups that they would like to work with, and how this will happen. The District assembly partners then guide them in terms of where there is a need to establish new clubs or where there are existing clubs or structures that they can work with.

After that, the next step is the actual club formation/mobilisation process where they go to the community with the district assembly desk officer. At the community, the first to be approached and consult are the chiefs. They then call for a meeting with the required group of people, and will include the chief and other relevant traditional leaders. The project and its objectives are then explained to the group and thereafter the clubs are established. Usually at these meetings the facilitators will be selected, who will be trained to facilitate group discussions once the club starts listening to the radio programmes. Pakachere usually trains two people per club in facilitation and reporting skills, and on the content covered in the radio programmes.


The Maziko Face book page is a social media platform where youth interact with the talk show anchor, as well as each other, to advance and comment on the issues raised in the talk shows. Youth are able to exchange experiences based on the issue discussed and ask more questions on some of the issues. The page has also experienced involvement of parents who perceive the TV talk show as a means of communicating with their children on issues that they are usually unable to discuss with them.

Community viewing sessions

Outreach officers show low cost videos on various behaviours that put young people at risk of HIV infection. After each show, the audience is involved in a discussion where they comment on the behaviours, its consequences, and how it could be avoided. At the end, the audience is asked to think about an action they will take personally as a lesson from the discussion. The sessions generate a lot of questions which are answered by experts who accompany the outreach teams.

HIV testing and counselling (HTC) day and social dialogue sessions

Pakachere conducts various community events that include social dialogues, counselling sessions, and HIV testing. This is a whole day event jointly organised with youth club members, district partners, and sexual and reproductive health service providers. The sessions have information sharing components and a service provision part which includes HTC, condom distribution, and provision of family planning methods.

Development Issues: 

HIV/ AIDS, Youth

Key Points: 

In terms of setting up listening clubs, Pakachere has made the following observations:

  • It is challenging to maintain people's commitment throughout the year/project span as they have other obligations that are sometimes deemed more urgent. It therefore helps to visit them frequently and offer support.
  • When recruiting clubs, one should try and recruit those that are truly committed to the project's objectives. Because groups and people feign commitment and enthusiasm during a community visit, it is difficult to recognise which groups and individuals are truly devoted and one often ends up involving groups and/or training individuals that do not run with the project. Pakachere believes that if the project is to have a greater impact, they need to invest time and resources into the selection procedure of the groups that they should concentrate on and individuals that should be trained.
  • Lastly, according to Pakachere, it helps to seriously think through the issue of incentives particularly when the club members operate as volunteers. Depending on the context, this may not necessarily be monetary as sometimes all people want are t-shirts, bags, wraps or any other form of club identification, or it could be participation in various training workshops and exchange visits among clubs. But whatever the form of incentive, it is important that it be thought through properly.
Partner Text: 

Pakachere Institute of Health and Development Communication (IHDC) , National Aids Commission


Email from Basimenye Nhlema on August 1 2013.

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Pusha Love Health Campaign

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Pusha Love is a campaign that is working to create a movement that celebrates healthy living as a means to achieve individual dreams and is designed to change the way people think about health, relationships, and what it means to love. Through various channels - including a radio magazine, radio drama, community dialogues, and youth clubs - the campaign promotes healthy lifestyle choices, creates space for dialogue, challenges accepted norms, and motivates people to adopt new behaviours.

Communication Strategies: 

Pusha Love is positioned as a social movement led by community members and uses real people to communicate how healthy choices contribute to individual and community success. At each stage of the mass media component of the campaign, Pusha Love will showcase individuals who reflect key themes and act "positive deviants" for the target audience. In this way, Pusha Love hopes to show that role models exist in every community. In its current phase, Pusha Love features the stories of four Ambassadors who encourage people to join the conversation about what people want in life: Kamohelo, a young man with aspirations of becoming a soccer star; Limakatso, a married mother of two children who studies part-time to improve her chances of better employment; Manaleli, a young woman who dreams of becoming a teacher; and Lehlohonolo, a married teacher with one child who is working to start up his own business. The next phase of Pusha Love’s mass media programme will feature four men who have recently undergone HIV testing and share their experience and how testing keeps them on-track to achieving success.

Pusha Love includes a radio magazine program called Pusha Love Blomas where listeners can hear peoples' stories and add their voice to the conversation. The programme also uses Pusha Love Listening Events to capture audience reactions through "man on the street" interviews for later broadcast on the programme. The campaign also produces the S’moko Feela! radio drama, which was launched in late 2012. S’moko Feela! is a 15-minute, serial radio drama, that is broadcast three days per week on two local radio stations, and uses character-driven storylines to communicate key messages about good health and living.

Mass media components of the campaign support several community-level interventions implemented by local partners. The Pusha Love Chomees programme reaches young people aged 18-24 to engage them in interactive group discussions around healthy living, staying HIV-free, and achieving one's ambitions in life. Pusha Love "Ha Re Bua..." is a dialogue tool, adapted from the African Transformations methodology, that engages communities in effective dialogues about the issues that put individuals and communities at-risk of poor health and HIV infection. And finally, the Pusha Love Corporate Wellness Solutions programme offers programmes to corporate partners and public agencies, reaching individuals in the workplace with comprehensive communication services to support good health and HIV prevention amongst employees.

In addition, people can discuss the issues raised and interact with the campaign through the Pusha Love Facebook page.

Development Issues: 

Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, HIV/AIDS

Key Points: 

Lesotho has the third highest HIV prevalence rate in the world, and all parts of the country, and people of both sexes, and all ages and socio-economic strata are affected. HIV is primarily spread through sexual contact, made worse due to gaps in knowledge about HIV and AIDS, high rates of multiple and concurrent partnerships, and low awareness of HIV status. The Letlama Lesotho Together Against HIV and AIDS Partnership Project seeks to address these issues by increasing the adoption of protective behaviours and supporting healthy social norms among adults and youth in Lesotho to reduce HIV incidence.

Pusha Love Health Campaign
Partner Text: 

Lesotho Ministry of Health, Population Services International (PSI), President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Johns Hopkins University Center for Communications Programs, Kick4Life, the Lesotho Network of HIV/AIDS Service Organisations (LENASO), Phela Health and Development Communications


JHUCCP website and USAID website, and email from Brian Pedersen, PSI/Lesotho on May 8 2013.

Alerta y Pilas Puestas ("Alert and Be Ready")

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As part of Foundation Puntos de Encuentro's strategy against commercial sexual exploitation of adolescents (CSEA) (2011-2013), Alerta y Pilas Puestas ("Alert and Be Ready") was launched in 2012 in an effort to build the capacity of adolescents as well as actors in their direct surroundings to contribute to the reduction of the stigma and discrimination related to CSEA in Central America. The primary audience is girls between 13 and 18 years who are not experiencing situations of commercial sexual exploitation but who are at risk of going down that path.

Communication Strategies: 

Campaign actions include:

  1. Printed materials: Organisers have used posters, workbooks, and several promotional materials, including displays on public transport units.
  2. Mass communication
    • Broadcasting of the TV series Contracorriente (which promotes the importance of mutual respect, communication, and negotiation to solve interpersonal and family conflicts, as well as the importance of social safety nets) in Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador - one of its main stories focused on CSEA.
    • Live and online broadcasting of the youth radio programme DKY FM, which addresses controversial and taboo issues that affect the lives of Nicaraguan teenagers and youth in what are intended to be entertaining and provocative ways.
    • Transmission of a radio series about CSEA.
    • Articles published in the feminist magazine La Boletina (nationwide coverage, distributed to organisations and institutions in Nicaragua).
    • Thematic insert in national newspaper El Nuevo Diario.
    • Transmission of thematic radio and TV spots.
    • Promotional and educational printouts (e.g., posters and workbooks).
    • Educational toolkit "Change Your World" distributed to organisations, education centres, and institutions that work with adolescents and youth. This toolkit includes: a specialised multimedia library on CSEA (online and in the form of a DVD); a thematic edition of Contracorriente (see the 23-minute video, below); a radio series, ESCApe, focused on CSEA and human trafficking; and methodological guides to work with the audiovisual and radio materials; and
    • Virtual/online promotion on websites and social networks.
  3. Public actions
    • Nationwide tours on CSEA with the Contracorriente cast, including discussion events at secondary schools, meetings with key actors (public figures, community leaders, etc.) and interviews with the media in Nicaragua and El Salvador (to date).
    • Discussion and exchange groups with journalists and a workshop with DKY FM correspondents.
    • Discussion groups and encounters between organisations and government institutions.
    • Workshops with groups and organisations part of the wider Central American women's movement.

Most of these actions have been co-organised and coordinated with organisations of the wider women's movement, state institutions, networks, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in prevention, attention, penalisation, and social reintegration of victims of sexual violence.


Click here to read a blog entry (in Spanish) that further describes the campaign actions.

Development Issues: 

Girls, Rights.

Key Points: 

Alerta y Pilas Puestas grew out of a global strategy against CSEA that began in 2011, when Foundation Puntos de Encuentro carried out several actions in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala under the slogan "We Need to be Able to Talk". The aim was to strengthen capacities of those organisations and institutions that work on the prevention of violence against women and to create a favourable public opinion towards adolescent girls who are victims of commercial sexual exploitation.


Throughout 2012, Foundation Puntos de Encuentro reached more than 10,500 people in Nicaragua and El Salvador (5,900 women and 4,600 men - 78% of whom were adolescents) who participated in public activities and video forums in schools and received information about different strategies used by aggressors, procurers, and middlemen, as well as ways to avoid being a victim. According to the organisation, the campaign has received widespread recognition for its contribution to awareness raising and increased intent to act on cases of human trafficking and CSEA.

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Emails from Irela Solorzano and Irene Lindenhovius to The Communication Initiative on May 3 2013 and May 6 2013, respectively; and Puntos de Encuentro website, May 6 2013.

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Action Pals Multi-media Programme

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Action Pals is a multi-media education programme intended for 10-14 year olds, that seeks to promote positive social and behaviour change in areas of health and environment in Zimbabwe. Led by the Action Institute for Environment Health and Development Communication (Action IEHDC), in partnership with Soul City Institute of Health and Development Communication, the programme engages with young people through print, radio, and television, as well as Action Pals Clubs.

Communication Strategies: 

Action Pals interventions focus on producing the following multi-media:

  • Print - "The Action Pals: Tomorrow is Ours" booklets have been distributed across the country. Dealing with HIV/AIDs is a key issue, but the booklets also address such topics as solving problems without violence and human rights, drugs, caring for the environment, children´s rights and discrimination, teenage sex and sexuality, disability, and racism and xenophobia.
    Click here to read the first Action Pals booklet online.
  • Radio - A 26-part radio drama series called Tomorrow is Ours was produced , dealing with bullying, solving problems without violence, disability, HIV and AIDS support and treatment, accidents and child safety, and children's rights. The Tomorrow is Ours Radio Public Service Announcements (PSAs) complemented the radio drama, produced in English, Shona, and Ndebele. Covering many of the same issues, the PSAs were designed to be a tool to get young people to think about serious issues that affect them in a way that is exciting and that makes education fun.
  • Television - Chipo's Promise was a television drama dealing with HIV and AIDS and orphaned children, discrimination, and stigma. The drama was produced as part of a nine-country regional television drama series entitled Untold Stories in a Time of HIV and AIDS television, supported by Soul City Institute of Health and Development Communication.

According to Action IEHDC, children and youth, inspired by the Action work and the materials they read, voluntarily set up Action Pals Clubs (APCs) in schools and communities. As a result of this feedback, Action decided to formalise its relations with these APCs and establish new ones through a pilot project focusing on 16 schools. These schools are located in five provinces of Zimbabwe - Harare, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West, Midlands, and Bulawayo.

People are also encouraged to learn more and interact with the campaign through the Action Pals Zimbabwe facebook page.

Development Issues: 

Youth, HIV/AIDS, Lifeskills, Health, Environment

Key Points: 

Action Institute for Environment Health and Development Communication (IEHDC) is a Zimbabwean non-governmental organisation specialising in producing multi-media products in the areas of environment health and social development. Action IEHDC was established as a project of Zimbabwe Trust in 1987 as a result of the apparent need for information materials for children in the areas of health, development, and environment. The organisation has since broadened to produce multi-media products for both children and adults. It was registered as an independent organisation in 2009.

Action Pals Multi-media Programme
Partner Text: 

Action Institute for Environment Health and Development Communication (Action IEHDC), Soul City: Institute of Health and Development Communication


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S'tru Aw'kaphephi Campaign

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Launched in 2010 in Swaziland, the S'tru Aw'kaphephi social marketing campaign challenged common lines and expressions that are used to rationalise and excuse the practise of multiple concurrent partnerships (MCP). Designed to warn people about the attitudes and perceptions that influence risky sexual behaviours that can lead to HIV infection, the campaign included a radio drama, print materials, billboards, and face-to-face discussions on public buses.

Communication Strategies: 

In keeping with the OneLove messages and principles, the S'tru Aw'kaphephi challenges cultural practises that support MCP through the following messages:

  • You are not safe if you and/or your partner ascribe to social beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions that drive MCP.
  • Even if 'justified', MCPs put you at risk of contracting HIV.

The campaign included the following key strategies for disseminating it's messages.

  • Bagcwele Iquantum: S'tru Aw'kaphephi Radio Drama - This 38-episode radio drama series was broadcast on SBIS 1, featuring topics related to the rationalisation around MCP and the social norms that drive MCPs, such as the celebration of male promiscuity, the "pull her down" syndrome common among women, male entitlement to sexual pleasure, and MCP and poverty.
  • Mobile discussions and theatre on 8 rural bus routes – using “Ambush Theatre” techniques, where people in the audience are at first unaware that the interaction between the actors is a drama, the campaign prompted discussions on buses. For example, in one drama, a husband would get a phone call and leaves his seat, when the wife gets suspicious, an arguments follows. This was followed by a discussion led by the actor/ facilitators.
  • Print Materials - The S'tru Aw'kaphephi Booklet shares common lines and expressions used throughout the S’TRU! Aw’kaphephi! Campaign
  • 9 Billboards throughout the 4 regions of Swaziland
  • 10 Road Shows in rural areas
  • Car Sticker Competition
  • Newspaper Adverts and Editorials
  • Posters displayed throughout the country
  • A S'tru Aw'kaphephi Facebook page

The campaign was conceptualised following audience research conducted by Lusweti in June 2010, which revealed that MCPs have become an acceptable sexual lifestyle, and that individuals are pressured and socialised according to cultural norms and values that lead to risky sexual behaviour. The survey also found that there is a common belief that men are entitled to sexual pleasure whenever they want and can have as many sexual partners as they want, an attitude fast being adopted by women.

Key Points: 

The Lusweti Institute for Health Development Communication is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to the creation and provision of innovative social behaviour change communication programmes. Their efforts focus on bringing social change to society ensuring that the majority of people in the country will be practicing positive behaviour with respect to HIV/AIDS, health, and development.


According to Lusweti, Swaziland's HIV epidemic has reached an exceptionally high rate with 26% of the reproductive age group population aged 15-49 years infected. MCP has been identified as one of the key drivers of the epidemic in Swaziland. While perceived norms and principles of Swazis are strongly against MCPs, what prevails as popular culture is contrary to the perceived societal norms. MCPs are a common practice that is accepted by society.

Partner Text: 

Lusweti Institute for Health Development Communication, National Emergency Response Council on HIV and AIDS (NERCHA), Soul City Institute for Health Development Communication

See video

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Plataforma Eduentretenimiento + Movilización = Cambio Social

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Communication Strategies: 

Tanto en la primera como en la segunda temporada, el eje central de la plataforma Eduentretenimiento + Movilización = Cambio estuvo constituídos por varios estrategias de comunicación, con el propósito de aportar a procesos de reflexión y cambio a nivel individual, familiar, comunitario y socio-cultural y político:

  • Edu-entretenimiento: aprovechó la potencia narrativa del melodrama, y la gran cantidad de públicos que este género atrae. Se realizaron desde dramatizados en radio y televisión, hasta expresiones artísticas como el teatro.
  • Movilización social: consistió en la generación de procesos de comunicación participativa que generaron aprendizaje dialógico, donde se involucraron activamente las comunidades locales en el análisis y resolución de las problemáticas de salud, a través de diversos métodos de comunicación.
  • Abogacía: entendida como la generación de alianzas políticas, técnicas y de gestión de recursos, para favorecieron la promoción y/o implementación de políticas públicas, programas o proyectos. A través de este componente se establecieron las alianzas y/o convenios que garantizaron la presencia de actores claves como instituciones y autoridades locales y departamentales del sector salud y educación principalmente,   universidades, medios masivos de comunicación, entre otros.
  • Investigación, sistematización y gestión del conocimiento: buscó que las decisiones tomadas tuvieran como base información cualificada y evidencia. Se realizó además, seguimiento y evaluación permanente al proceso, conducentes a identificar lecciones aprendidas, generación y socialización de conocimientos y de resultados. Como parte de este componente se realizaron: una línea de base en 8 departamentos (134 municipios), investigación formativa en 4 departamentos (grupos focales y entrevistas profundidad), taller de diseño de indicadores, diseño de plataforma web para procesamiento de información (CILA), talleres de evaluación y uso de plataforma virtual y una investigación evaluativa por parte de distintas universidades, que permitió valorar resultados e incidencias.
  • Cross media: Uno de los objetivos de esta estrategia ha sido la exploración de la “transmedialidad”. Recordemos que lo “transmedial” es una nueva forma de narración concebida para contar historias complementarias a través de múltiples plataformas y formatos. Siguiendo este concepto, se desarrolla en la actualidad, este espacios de encuentro virtual - el sitio web de Revelados - donde confluirán las historias dramatizadas de la primera y la segunda temporada, notas documentales, diálogos en Twitter y Facebook, guías, blogs, perfiles de los personajes de televisión, videos que elaboren y manden los públicos interlocutores; entrevistas; materiales promocionales para descargar y muchas cosas más.
Development Issues: 

Eduentretenimiento, juventud, derechos, salud sexual y reproductiva, género, VIH.

Key Points: 

Esta estrategia retoma un conjunto de principios y características que le dan un valor agregado a este proceso, y que podrían ser referentes para futuras acciones de comunicación en ámbitos de política pública:

  • Sistematicidad: el diseño e implementación de la estrategia se apoya en un proceso sistemático que incluye diversos momentos de investigación, reflexión, análisis, gestión, y evaluación que facilita la revisión constante de sus componentes a partir del dialogo con diversos actores nacionales, regionales y locales. Los pasos incluidos en el proceso se nutren de diversos modelos de planeación de la comunicación, pero reconocen las particularidades del entorno colombiano.
  • Basada en evidencia: las decisiones asociadas con el diseño de la estrategia, tanto en la definición de sus ejes temáticos, como en sus componentes comunicativos se apoya en la evidencia existente en ámbitos de salud pública y comunicación. Por ejemplo, la incorporación del componente de eduentretenimiento es soportada por la evidencia acumulada por propuestas comunicativas reconocidas a nivel internacional como Puntos de Encuentro en Nicaragua, y Soul City en Suráfrica.
  • Guiada por referentes conceptuales y teóricos: la estrategia se enmarca en un conjunto de conceptos y teorías provenientes de los ejes de la propuesta (enfoque de derechos, género y jóvenes, y propuesta de comunicación para el cambio social), que estarán reflejados en procesos y materiales de comunicación.
  • Investigación, monitoreo y evaluación: se hace uso sistemático de procesos de investigación. Desde el levantamiento de una línea de base como insumo esencial para la evaluación de proceso e impacto, pasando por la investigación formativa para el diseño de sus componentes, hasta la evaluación en los diferentes ámbitos de intervención, la estrategia hace de la investigación un eje central del proceso.
  • Interrelación de niveles (nacional, regional local): reconociendo la complejidad y diversidad de los entornos en los que la estrategia trabaja, sus componentes apuntan a generar procesos de interrelacion en lo nacional, regional, y local, no solo como elemento diferenciador de las intervenciones, sino como una posibilidad de refuerzo y acompañamiento mutuo para la totalidad de la estrategia.
  • Interinstitucionalidad y multisectorialidad: dada la necesidad de trabajar la salud pública, en particular de adolescentes y jóvenes, desde una perspectiva inter-institucional y multisectorial, la estrategia convoca y suma esfuerzos de diversas instituciones y sectores que tienen responsabilidades y/o juegan un rol importante en este campo. Por ello, se suman esfuerzos de entidades de gobierno, agencias de cooperación, organizaciones no gubernamentales, y actores departamentales y regionales, en ámbitos de salud, educación, y derechos.
  • Interdisciplinariedad: contrario a propuestas a menudo reduccionistas sobre la complejidad de la salud de los jóvenes y adolescentes, la estrategia incorpora diversas perspectivas disciplinarias –comunicación, salud, derechos, educación, trabajo social- que potencian sus diversos componentes.
  • Fortalecimiento de capacidades: el fortalecimiento y/o instalación de capacidad local que contribuya a la sostenibilidad de estos procesos es un elemento central de la estrategia. Se trabaja entonces, en forma sistemática, en procesos de formación y acompañamiento de los equipos regionales y locales.
  • Participación y construcción local: la participación y construcción desde lo local es una característica transversal, en la medida que cada proceso y componente de la estrategia se analizan y ajustan de acuerdo al contexto y realidad local. A diferencia del componente nacional, único para la estrategia, los componentes locales incorporan elementos propios de esos contextos que no son comunes a otros espacios de intervención.

Estrategia Edu-entretenimiento + Movilización = Cambio Social.

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Wazazi Nipendeni Safe Motherhood Campaign

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Launched in November 2012, the Wazazi Nipendeni (Love Me, Parents) Safe Motherhood Campaign seeks to empower pregnant women and their partners to take steps to achieve a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery.

Communication Strategies: 

Wazazi Nipendeni integrates all safe motherhood health areas under one platform, including early and complete ante-natal care (ANC) attendance, malaria prevention, the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT), individual birth planning, and safe delivery. Key channels include radio and television spots and programmes on national and regional stations, clinic posters, client materials, billboards, and other outdoor and promotional materials. Visit the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs (JHUCCP) website to download posters and watch television spots.

Wazazi Nipendeni emphasises the following key behaviours:

  • Attend ANC within the first 16 weeks of pregnancy
  • Attend ANC at least four times during pregnancy
  • Test for HIV together with their partner
  • Enrol in PMTCT services if HIV positive
  • Receive 2 doses of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) for the prevention of malaria in pregnancy
  • Sleep under a treated net every night
  • Make an individual birth plan
  • Deliver at a health facility with a skilled provider.

An SMS component is an integral part of the Wazazi Nipendeni campaign. Pregnant women, mothers with babies up to 16 weeks, and their supporters can send the word "mtoto" to the number 15001 free of charge. After registering, users receive a range of free messages covering all aspects of safe pregnancy and early child care. All messages have been approved by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and match the specific month or week of pregnancy or age of the baby. The service offers the registrants time sensitive reminders for ANC visits, SP doses for prevention of malaria in pregnancy, as well as information on testing for HIV, nutrition, individual birth planning, and much more.

The campaign has also produced a song that is being aired on stations nationwide.


Visit the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs (JHUCCP) website to download posters and watch television spots.

Development Issues: 

Governance, Elections

Key Points: 

According to Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs, while maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) has seen improvements in Tanzania in the last few decades, Tanzanian women still face an unacceptably high risk of preventable morbidity and mortality during their reproductive years. Tanzania's maternal mortality ratio remains high at 454 deaths per 100,000 lives births, as does its infant mortality rate, at 51 deaths per 1,000 live births. Tanzania has committed to improving MNCH through the Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa in Tanzania (CARMMAT), which recognises the importance of social and behaviour change communication in its efforts to save the lives of Tanzania’s women and children.


The Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA) was launched in May 2009 by the African Union to trigger concerted and increased action towards improving maternal and newborn health and survival across the continent. The main objective of CARMMA is to expand the availability and use of universally accessible quality health services, including those related to sexual and reproductive health that are critical for the reduction of maternal mortality. The focus is not to develop new strategies and plans, but to ensure coordination and effective implementation of existing ones.

Partner Text: 

Ministry of Health and Social Welfare Reproductive and Child Health Section; National Malaria Control Program (NMCP); the National AIDS Control Program (NACP); the Health Promotion and Education Section; mHealth Tanzania Public Private Partnership; United States (US) Agency for International Development (USAID); the US President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI); the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs (JHU·CCP); mHealth Tanzania Public Private Partnership; Jhpiego; Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF); Mwanzo Bora program; FHI360; Catholic Relief Services (CRS); CCBRT; Deloitte - Tunajali project; PLAN International; and Aga Khan Health Services.

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Primeira Infância Melhor (Best Early Childhood)

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"Primeira Infância Melhor (PIM) (Best Early Childhood)" is the public policy of early childhood for Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, organised around three structural axes: the family, the community, and intersectoral cooperation of social services. PIM facilitates the articulation of all public policies toward pregnant mothers and young children, seeking to ensure more appropriate development and a shift towards a more integrated, less violent, and healthier childhood.

Communication Strategies: 

The PIM policy regards the community and the family as the most important agents in promoting the health and development of their children. It contributes to break the cycle of poverty in families served by strengthening of care and quality education.


The structure of intersectoral cooperation is as follows:


The Ministry of Health coordinates the PIM, adopting specific strategies and implementing programmes and services for its own network, with emphasis on intra- and inter-sectoral participation, especially in those programmes and services whose attention and action are directed towards the family, the pregnant woman, and the child.


The Ministry of Education, in addition to the projects implemented in the areas of early childhood education and teacher training, develops the project "Open School for Citizenship", which aims to work with families, children, and the community at large through their participation in weekend socio-educational, cultural, and sports activities.


The Ministry of Culture provides an interface with the PIM programme through making available the collections of their institutions. These are the foundations of: theatre; television; radio and music; museum development centres that encourage expression of art and education activities with children and adolescents; libraries focused on children and adolescents; the Casa de Cultura Mario Quintana; and institutes music, theatre, dance, cinema and tradition, and folklore. Another commitment in this partnership is to support PIM policy through promoting training on culture, art, education, games, toy making, and storytelling, among other topics.


The Ministry of Justice and Social Development promotes and guides services, programmes, and projects that directly or indirectly support child development through programmes of: Socio-Familial Guidance and Support (OASF) and Open Environment Socio-Educational Support (ASEMA). In addition to offering support and family counselling, the Ministry helps with seeking income generation opportunities in the communities and supports the prevention of domestic violence and sexual abuse during childhood.

Development Issues: 

Early childhood, rights, health, education.

Key Points: 

The PIM is currently deployed in more than 200 municipalities from different regions of the State of Rio Grande do Sul. These communities have different dimensions, characteristics, and cultures. They have participated in implementing PIM policy programme from 2003, the year it originated, to the present.

Primeira Infância Melhor (Best Early Childhood)
Partner Text: 

Ministry of Health, Ministries of Education, Culture, and Justice and Social Development. The Ministry of Health coordinates the efforts of state and municipal spheres, civil society, and other stakeholders committed to the education and development of children aged zero to six years.


The UNESCO website, January 6 2013.

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Doi Moi in Science!

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"Doi Moi" means revolution in the Vietnamese language and refers to a period in history equivalent to Perestroika. The "Doi Moi in Science!" project was set up by Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programme - Oxford University Clinical Research Unit Viet Nam (OUCRU-Vietnam) and funded through a Wellcome Trust International Engagement Award. The project aims to engage the Vietnamese public with science and to raise awareness about the research conducted at OUCRU Viet Nam.

Communication Strategies: 

The project involved three initiatives designed to bring science to the forefront of people's minds in an engaging and entertaining way through theatre productions, lively debate, and informed writing. Sharing knowledge with these groups was designed to develop an understanding of the value and need for scientific research.


I. Science Theatre:
In November 2009, the public engagement team of the OUCRU-Vietnam WT-MOP in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam, commenced work on the first stage of this public engagement in science project. The first endeavour was a children's theatre production, "An Amazing Battle", focusing on bacterial enteric diseases, hygiene, and antibiotic resistance. After the collaborating host institution, The Hospital for Tropical Diseases, approved the topics, pre-production work began. Thai Duong Theatre Company (a company with experience in children's theatre and potential for publicity) collaborated with the public engagement team, which worked to ensure scientific accuracy, as the two groups carried out: script-writing, set design, costume design, sound design, rehearsals, preliminary discussions with school principals, applications to the relevant Vietnamese authorities for approval of the script and permission to conduct the project, announcements to local media, and website construction.


Research scientists with OUCRU-Vietnam in HCMC provided the educational content for the show, and this formed the foundation of the story. Incorporating Vietnamese folklore characters such as Ong Dia, the round, happy God of the Earth who symbolises prosperity, and Thanh Giong, a mythological Vietnamese warrior, the public engagement team and Thai Duong Theatre developed what was intended to be an engaging story that creatively incorporates educational content in an accessible format for children. The story illuminates the causes and prevention of bacterial infection and cultivates awareness about antibiotic resistance. When a young boy discovers Ong Dia has fallen ill, he and Thanh Giong use magical powers to become microscopic and travel into the abyss of Ong Dia's round belly to uncover the mystery of his ailment. With the help of an extremely meticulous doctor and a friendly bacterium, the child and Thanh Giong learn about the sources and prevention of bacterial infection, as well as the accurate and safe treatment method.


Actors who are locally well-known through popular children's television shows took part in the production. This provided an opportunity to enhance media coverage and foster engagement of the children. In total, there were 4 primary actors, 3 secondary actors, and 2 sound technicians. The show is interactive. Children explore an "Amazing Battle" printed booklet before the show begins. The show starts with a warm-up competition between the boys' team and the girls' team to discover "who has better hygiene habits - boys or girls?"


A media conference was held at Highlands Cafe in District One, HCMC, on March 9 2010. The public engagement team hosted a journalist conference prior to the first performance. The conference was attended by 12 journalists: 10 from Vietnamese newspapers and 2 foreign journalists from local English-language magazines. The press received an approved media release document and further information about the WT-MOP at the conference. A question and answer session was conducted to clarify the aims of the project and activities of the OUCRU. The first production for the Board of Education and Media followed the media conference at Tran Cao Van Theatre, HCMC.


The journalist conference was followed immediately by the first performance of the show at Tran Cao Van Theatre in District One, HCMC. Local journalists and representatives from 27 primary schools and 3 delegates from the Department of Education were invited to attend the first performance. All school representatives received an information packet which included the press release, proposed timetables of school productions, and information about the project.  Following the show, the public engagement team, the school representatives, and the members from the Board of Education met in the theatre. At this time, schools were able to inquire about the project and discuss ideas and suggestions. The public engagement team received permission from the Board of Education and the Board of Health, which enabled school performances to commence.


School productions of An Amazing Battle were performed 31 times in 28 public schools and several other institutions, including non-governmental organisation (NGO) projects for disadvantaged children, in HCMC from April-May 2010. It was viewed by over 25,000 students in schools throughout HCMC and, according to organisers, received extensive positive feedback from the children and school principals, in addition to media coverage in the local press and on television (The project was featured in over 20 Vietnamese newspapers and magazines, as well as a local English-language publication. Two local TV stations also broadcast enthusiastic features on the project.)


In the second year of the project (2011), An Amazing Battle focused on reaching children in remote areas of the Mekong Delta and on disadvantaged children in suburb districts of HCMC. Nine young potential actors of the "Smile Puppet" group took part in the production instead of well-known actors. It was performed in 17 public schools, 2 hospitals in provinces around the Mekong Delta, and 3 cultural centres in Long An, Dong Thap, Tien Giang, and Vinh Long provinces, and in the rural city district of Cu Chi. An estimated 15,000 children and parents attended these shows.


In 2012, OUCRU-Vietnam was awarded a three year grant from Sanofi Espoir Foundation to continue the project. The organisers continued to work with Thai Duong Theatre Company and presented 20 live theatre shows in 20 schools in the rural delta province of Ben Tre. In total, over 11,330 children watched the shows. OUCRU-Vietnam negotiated a contract with VTV9 TV channel to film the show, which aired on national TV twice. It was also recorded onto DVD; 1,000 copies were made and distributed. Using the DVD, three more events were held at local paediatric hospitals and a school for handicapped children. The shows started with a song, games, and a short talk from a doctor. The children watched the show on a big screen and then were presented with gifts of a bar of soap and snacks. 500 children attended the 3 DVD shows. This project will continue for another two years with SEF funding.


II. Science Cafe
Cafe Khoa Hoc is a venue for a cup of coffee or soft drink where people can debate science issues in a non-academic environment. It is designed to be a friendly forum for people to get insights into questions they may otherwise not consider and to share their ideas about the latest or the most burning modern science- and health-related issues in a deeper manner. The first science café on Bioethics in Clinical Research was organised at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in March 2011. It was attended by 55 students, 5 university representatives, 7 journalists, and 1 TV reporter.


III. Workshops
Designed for science journalists and scientists who interact with the media, there have been two sets of workshops. One took place July 7-13 2011. Goals included: providing skills and updated knowledge in communicating science to the public for science journalists; providing solutions for science journalists to overcome barriers in their work; providing skills and knowledge of communicating science to the general public for scientists; and bridging the gap between scientists and science journalists.

Development Issues: 

Children, Youth, Health.

Key Points: 

In order to assess the impact of An Amazing Battle (the 2010 performances), the public engagement team distributed pre-show and post-show surveys. The pre-show survey was distributed to over 332 students (10-11 years old) in 7 schools (Tran Binh Trong, Luong The Vinh, Nguyen Du, Dong Hoa, Han Hai Nguyen, Phu Lam, and Hoa Hiep) who would later view the production. Following the performance, children who viewed the performance were asked to complete the post-show survey in order to measure their acquisition of the educational points in the show. Randomised cluster sampling was used to select 402 responses for evaluation. Very little difference existed between the number of correct answers in the pre-show and post-show groups.


Comments from the 2011 show include: Mr. Luu Thanh Cong, Director of Department of Education and Training of Vinh Long province, who called An Amazing Battle "an engaging educational programme which brings knowledge to students in an effective way." Le Thi Trang, the vice-principal at Phu Lam School in District 6, said: "The play makes it easier to understand and remember the issues surrounding bacterial infections."

Partner Text: 

OUCRU with Wellcome Trust funding. The science theatre aspect as carried out in 2012 was funded by the Sanofi Espoir Foundation.


"International Engagement Awards: Projects funded in 2010" [PDF], accessed on November 29 2012; and emails from Mary Chambers to The Communication Initiative on November 28 2012 and December 2 2012.

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