Creative Arts for Youth HIV/AIDS Prevention - Music and Comics in Chamanculo


Using music and comics, Community Media for Development (CMFD) Productions, together with music group Sigauque Project, are implementing the project Creative Arts for Youth HIV/AIDS Prevention - Music and Comics in Chamanculo in Maputo, Mozambique. Launched in January 2012, the objective of the project is to promote HIV/AIDS awareness among the youth, while changing attitudes towards protection and preventative methods.

Communication Strategies: 

A series of 12 wall posters are being produced, each addressing a different theme related to HIV awareness and prevention. Over 12 weeks, one comic poster per week will be posted in public spaces such as markets, schools, and drinking spots. According to CMFD Productions, wall comics were chosen as a strategy because unlike comic books, which a person is more likely to read alone, wall comics posted in public places tend to be read by groups of people, thus encouraging community dialogue as people react to and discuss the stories they read or the images they see.

To ensure relevance and appeal, CMFD held workshops with groups of youth in Maputo to help them outline the different situations, major and otherwise, that had to do with sexual awareness and vulnerability in their society. The workshops identified several key topics for the project to address:

  • No means no – sexual violence
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Countering stigma
  • Coping with peer pressure
  • Prevention – using condoms
  • Prevention – girls responses to persuasion
  • Dangers of transactional sex
  • Getting tested
  • Multiple concurrent partnerships as a risk

For the music component of the project, CMFD worked with local band Sigauque Project to produce two songs about HIV/AIDS. These songs will be the focus of a concert in Chamanculo, and will then be distributed to radio stations. A community concert was chosen to launch the new songs and the youth comic campaign as this will also provide an additional opportunity to communicate HIV messages and distribute information provided by local partner organisations.

Development Issues: 


Key Points: 

With an estimated population of 800,000 residents, Chamanculo is one of the most densely populated areas in Mozambique. As Mozambique’s overall population is comprised of over 50% youth, it is likely that that there are over 400,000 youth in Chamanculo. While the proposed concert and media outreach was relevant and raised awareness among all age groups, the key target group was young people aged 15 – 25, both male and female. Poverty, gender inequality, high crime and violence, and alcohol abuse all combine to encourage risky behaviour among Chamanculo youth. Early and unintended pregnancies are widespread, and although most youth in this urban area are aware of HIV/AIDS and protection methods, changing attitudes and behaviours was still a challenge. Gender inequality, transactional or survival sex, and high rates of gender violence make young women especially vulnerable, which is why, according to CMFD, there was such a desperate need for such a project.

With this information in mind, this intervention is designed to result in:

  • increased awareness and information about HIV prevention and services available;
  • increased dialogue among youth, as well as the community at large, about HIV as well as harmful norms, habits, and attitudes;
  • new perspectives and understanding among youth and the community about how such factors, as well as GBV and alcohol, encourage risky behaviours;
  • greater awareness among young women about the risks specific to them, and their own ability to prevent HIV; and
  • a sense of pride among youth and the community about media generated by this community, for this community.
Partner Text: 

Community Media for Development (CMFD) Productions, Sigauque Project, US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)


CMFD website on May 12 2012.


President's Malaria Initiative in Liberia


The President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), in partnership with the United Sates Agency for International Development (USAID and the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), is working to reduce malaria related morbidity and mortality by 50% in Liberia by 2012, focusing on reaching pregnant women and children under 5 years of age with lifesaving services, supplies, and medicines.

Communication Strategies: 

The PMI’s project focuses on preventing malaria through four interventions, namely the distribution of insecticide-treated nets (ITN), supporting indoor-residual spraying (IRS), and making rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) and malaria medication available. By increasing the use and accessibility of insecticide-treated nets and malaria-preventative medication in pregnant women, PMI hopes to decrease mortality rates. In addition, activities that aim to increase skills, knowledge, and awareness of the disease are designed to help curb the growing number of malaria-related problems.

To support these approaches, capacity building activities included training 2067 mid-level health care workers, community health volunteers (CHV), and traditional midwives in malaria case management and malaria in pregnancy. They were also given the skills to do malaria education which included behavioural change communication messages. One of the topics covered in the training was the importance of educating patients on early treatment seeking behaviour and intermittent preventative treatment in pregnancy (IPTP).

PMI also supports the promotion of malaria prevention and control interventions through mobilising schools, communities, local and international NGOs, leaders of all kinds, and faith-based organisations, such as churches. Through the malaria community programme (MCP), PMI has also partnered up with the MENTOR Initiative to promote community awareness of malaria. This has included developing community-based malaria groups who work together to develop dramas, songs, and posters. Cultural troops in the community performed dramas, and recorded them as radio and television/video programmes. Songs have played on local and national radio stations and the posters created were displayed in key areas such as health facilities, schools, and public meeting areas.

Development Issues: 


Key Points: 

According to PMI, the malaria crisis in Liberia is quite severe; it is the primary cause of morbidity and mortality in the country, contributing to 38% of outpatient consultations. A malaria indicator survey (MIS) in 2008-2009 showed that the malaria parasite was found in 32% of blood slides taken from children 6 months to 5-years old. The objective of this initiative is to reduce the malaria-related morbidity and mortality rates by reaching 85% of the affected areas, particularly pregnant women and children under the age of five.

In 2009, 480,000 ITNs were procured and distributed for free through door to door and antenatal care campaigns in three counties – Nimba, Grand Bassa and Lofa – reaching an estimated 700,000 people. ITN ownership increased from 18% to 60% between 2005 and 2009. However, PMI found that only about half the people who own nets use them on a regular basis, suggesting that a lot of work needs to be done to promote regular mosquito net usage.

Partner Text: 

USAID, Centre for Disease Control (CDC), John Snow International, RTI International, Medical Care Development International, EQUIP, MENTOR Initiative, Macro, Medical Centre Development, Management Science for Health Inc., US Pharmacopeia Convention


USAID website on April 24 2012 and The Mentor Initiative website on April 24 2012.


The Gender Roles, Equality and Transformations (GREAT) Project


The Gender Roles, Equality and Transformations (GREAT) Project, led by Georgetown University’s Institute for Reproductive Health in collaboration with partners Pathfinder International and Save the Children, is working to improve gender equity and reproductive health in Northern Uganda.

Communication Strategies: 

In the first phase of the project, 40 life history interviews with adolescents and 40 in-depth interviews with adults who significantly influence adolescents were conducted to provide a contextualised understanding of how gender norms and attitudes are formed, what these norms and attitudes are, and how they are related to sexual reproductive health (SRH) and gender-based violence (GBV). Findings from the ethnographic research showed that cultural norms, influence on gender-related expectations and norms, and talk about gender roles required a serious intervention to change the set ideals and give way to safer social norms. The findings also showed that there was a lack of knowledge of sexual reproductive health and a culture of violence that needed redress. These issues are the focus of GREAT.


The first phase also included a programme review to identify evidence-based approaches and promising interventions to address adolescent SRH, gender norms, and GBV, which have the potential to be adapted in Northern Uganda. The key findings from the 61 successful projects found in the programme review are organised according to three topic areas, namely programme design, gender and violence, and scale-up. The results and principles distilled from the programme review informed the design and implementation of pilot interventions in the second phase.


Drama and toolkit

According to the GREAT project organisers, programmes that work with adolescents on issues related to sexuality and gender should use approaches that account for different stages of cognitive development and the diversity of adolescent experiences. Programmes should employ age and life-stage tailored activities and use specific tailored materials and curricula. The GREAT project is using radio drama to catalyse discussion and change. The drama is designed to present a nuanced and intergenerational story, pose challenging dilemmas, and generate reflection, questions, and dialogue among listeners. The story line incorporates key lessons from the formative research, such as the value of addressing the concept of rebuilding community and revitalising culture in a more gender-equitable way.


The GREAT Project partners also developed a "Toolkit of Scalable Products [see related summaries]" which uses the same characters and themes as the radio drama, linking the two. The toolkit was rolled-out among small groups of adolescents in platforms common across Northern Uganda. As the foundation of these efforts is community mobilisation, the momentum around the radio drama and small group reflection is reinforced by collaboration with community, religious, and clan leaders. The project utilises a participatory process to engage key community and cultural leaders in generating change.


The review identified programmes that can be expanded through existing structures, such as public sector health services, schools, Girl Scouts/Guides, religious groups, and sports teams. By integrating interventions into platforms that exist across communities, districts, and countries, programmes can increase their usability, and scalability and ability to be replicated. This recommendation has been applied in designing the project's interventions, which will build on existing structures in the communities of Northern Uganda.

Development Issues: 

Sexual reproductive health, gender-based violence, gender roles

Key Points: 

Research conducted by GREAT showed that there is a lack of knowledge when it comes to gender-related issues and sexual reproductive health. Other key findings which were considered in the design of the project were the following:

  • Communities in the aftermath of social disruption and violence are striving to rebuild cultural and family structures, many of which socialise youth into adult roles as productive community members.
  • Mothers, peers, elders, and neighbours were identified as influential in shaping gendered attitudes and behaviours in children and adolescents.
  • Boys and girls reported feeling embarrassed or being teased by peers for bodily changes during puberty. As a result, they preferred talking about puberty with adults rather than peers.
  • Study participants of all ages and sexes described an "ideal" man as one who protects and provides for his family. Likewise, participants agreed that an "ideal woman" is obedient and nurturing.
  • Study participants reported that contraceptive use was infrequent in their communities, citing lack of male partner support, perceived negative side effects, and concern that use will cause marital discord.
  • Participants reported that multiple forms of violence (verbal, emotional, physical and sexual) were common, and often linked to alcohol abuse. Violence is viewed as unacceptable or questionable when its primary purpose is not to teach or discipline, and when it is excessive, uncontrolled, or causes physical harm.
Partner Text: 

Georgetown University’s Institute for Reproductive Health, Pathfinders International, Save the Children


Great Project website on April 20 2012.


Brisons le Silence (Break the Silence)

Brisons le Silence (Break the Silence)

In March 2012, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), launched Brisons le Silence (Break the Silence), a nationwide social marketing campaign to combat violence against women and girls, including domestic violence, in Cote d’Ivoire . The campaign uses social norms marketing to encourage the reporting of conjugal and partner violence, as well as the support of survivors. The campaign is designed to promote equitable gender norms and positive attitudes toward women and coordinated by the Gender Based Violence Coordinator, Monika Bakayoko-Topolska.

Communication Strategies: 

According to social marketing research, as cited by as Monika Bakayoko-Topolska, who oversees the IRC women's programmes in Côte d'Ivoire, the kind of campaign created by the IRC can have a profound effect on attitudes and behaviour related to gender norms and violence against women. Social marketing campaigns use traditional commercial marketing techniques to affect behaviour and attitudes related to social problems.


The audiences for the campaign include men ages 18-35 and housewives of the same age bracket. The messages address both action and social norms for each group:


For the men:


1) Nous sommes une équipe contre la violence. (We are a team against violence.)
2) Protéger les femmes, c’est aussi notre affaire! (Protect women, it is also our business.)


For the women:
1) Brave femme, lève-toi contre les violences! (Brave woman, stand up against violence!)
2) Chez nous, la violence n’a pas sa place! (There is no place for violence in our home!)


Several national artists and celebrities are participating in the campaign, including the Ivoirian soccer star Kolo Habib Touré and his wife, Hip Hop stars Nash and DJ Mix, Reggae star Kajeem, and actresses Akissi Delta and Marie Louise Asseu. Protestant, Catholic, and Muslim leaders are also acting as spokespersons for the campaign.


Activities include:
A launch event at the Palace of Culture in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. The event included a drama on the theme of domestic violence, comments from partners, a testimonial from a survivor, and a performance of the original campaign theme song by participating artists.


The campaign includes: radio and TV public service announcements (PSA's); radio scenarios and news stories; Facebook and Twitter messaging; mobile phone messaging; posters; billboards; localised information via information calendars; a free hotline for survivors and assisters; and t-shirts and bracelets.

Development Issues: 

Gender Based Violence.

Key Points: 

Click here to view the TV spots on the IRC's Break the Silence YouTube channel. 


Click here to access the campaign's Facebook page.



Partner Text: 

Funding from: The World Bank; the Novo Foundation; Moov, a telecommunications company; and Sotra, Abidjan’s municipal bus company.


Email from Virginia A. Williams to The Communication Initiative on January 13 and April 21 2012; and The Blog section of The Huffington Post website of March 27 2012, accessed on April 19 2012.


GoodLife Campaign Ghana

Officially launched in November 2010, the GoodLife Campaign in Ghana is a multimedia campaign encouraging reflection about what makes life "good", linking personal happiness to the practice of healthy behaviours related to: maternal neonatal and child health; family planning; malaria prevention and treatment; nutrition; and water, sanitation and hygiene.

Communication Strategies: 

At the centre of the campaign is the GoodLife Game Show, designed to move health messages beyond instructive commands to engaging people on issues relevant to their own daily lives. Contestants on the show are posed challenges, answer questions, and participate in skills-building games based on particular health issues. The campaign also uses well known Ghanaians to get the messages across, including stand up comedian Kweku Sintim-Misa and Hip-life music artist, Nana Boro.

The project is being implemented in three phases:

Phase 1, which ran from 9 to 26 November 2010, was a teaser campaign to generate discussion around the question 'what is your good life?' This phase used different multimedia approaches to attract the intended audience's interest:

  • TV and radio spots - spots around six characters, a hair dresser, a taxi driver, a footballer, a farmer, business man, and a seller.
  • posters
  • buzz cards
  • t-shirts
  • SMS (text) messages

Along with multi-media, there were also community activities in the form of Community Storming Teams, who engaged people in discussion and handed out flyers and buzz cards.

The 2nd phase, which ran from November 2010 to February 2011, was the brand positioning campaign. The messages focused on health in general, laying the foundation for people to want to seek out and practice disease prevention. Multi-media used included the following:

  • television and radio spots - the same 6 characters as in phase one depicted what would happen to their good life if they became ill;
  • a good life song;
  • music video;
  • billboards; and
  • a music concert

At health facility and community level, the project used posters, flyers, banners, wall paintings, and health volunteer activities, as well as health reference materials and community mobilisation manuals.

The main phase has been running from January 2011 and focuses on:

  • specific health messages;
  • strengthening the good life brand; and
  • broadening participation with other organisations in public and private sector.

The campaign also offered a GoodLife website which featured information about the different health issues addressed by the campaign, as well as campaign resources.

As part of the overarching GoodLife campaign, in June 2011, the Behaviour Change Support (BCS) Project and ProMPT, in partnership with the National Malaria Control Programme and the Ghana Health Service, launched the new "Aha ye de" malaria campaign. "Aha ye de" means "It’s Good Here" in Twi, one of Ghana’s national languages. The campaign is designed to reposition the use of treated nets as a lifestyle decision, while at the same time preventing malaria. The campaign seeks to increase risk perception by emphasiding the severity and threats of malaria. At the same time, the campaign empowers individuals to use malaria prevention and appropriate treatment. (see Related Summary below for "Aha ye de" campaign materials .)

Development Issues: 

Maternal Neonatal and Child Health, Family planning, Malaria prevention and treatment, Nutrition, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

Partner Text: 

United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (JHU/CCP), CARE, PLAN International, and the Ministry of Health, the Ghana Health Service (GHS).

See video

Good Life website and JHU/CCP website on February 27 2012.


Malaria Control in Cameroon


Between 2009 and 2011 the Fobang Foundation (FF) ran a programme in Cameroon to promote malaria prevention by explaining the biological basis of the disease and educating the population on better control methods. The programme worked at the national and policy level to improve information collection and dissemination, and at the grassroots level to promote awareness and action through comics, radio, schools clubs, theatre, and a vocational centre.

Communication Strategies: 

According to the Fobang Foundation, in 2006, it became clear that Plasmodium falciparum was resistant to amodiaquine and that the Anopheles mosquito was resistant to pyrethroids. In 2007, the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) decided to reorient towards greater community participation in order to mitigate the difficulties it was having scaling up its interventions with insecticide-treated mosquito nets, the intermittent preventive treatment (IPT) of pregnant women with sulfadoxine pyrimethamine (SP), and the use of Artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). According to FF there was also a general lack of information or the information that is disseminated is not culturally relevant.

At the national and policy level the programme coordinated a biennial Malaria Report for Cameroon by helping the National Malaria Control Programme develop questionnaires, collect and analyse information from the provinces, and monitor sites and organisations involved in malaria prevention. To promote effective malaria prevention in communities, the programme adapted training kits to educate at-risk groups, and conducted community-based awareness and prevention activities. The key activities were as follows:


  • Research and capacity build-up - FF worked with the 'National Malaria Control Programme' (NMCP) and the Cameroon Coalition Against Malaria (CCAM) to gather information in order to create a complete picture of the malaria situation in Cameroon. This included malaria indicators in a number of important regions (in North-West, South-West and Central Cameroon as well as in the Adamawa regions). The focus was on children under five and pregnant women.
  • Cultural health education - FF produced a malaria manual and co-sponsored the biweekly report 'About Malaria’, which also contains a comic strip on preventing malaria. The Radio Health International project enabled information about malaria to be broadcast over the radio.
  • School Health Clubs (SHC) - School health clubs received sponsoring for project activities that are part of the Community Outreach Malaria and HIV Prevention programme. On average, each club has 50 active members, and about 10 clubs are involved.
  • Theatre – The theatrical play Wabu (the Malian word for malaria) is about the dilemma of traditional African and Western approaches to the treatment of fever and malaria. Wabu was also made into a documentary and translated into French and Pidgin.
  • Vocational and hope centre - The vocational and hope centre focused on activities related to the production of insecticide-treated mosquito nets, 1,500 mosquito nets were distributed through the school health clubs.
  • The Malaria Control in Cameroon programme operated in parallel with an HIV/AIDS project funded by the Dutch Albert Schweitzer Foundation (NASF), which Fobang Foundation says helped to reduce costs and duplication.

Development Issues: 


Key Points: 

FF faced some challenges in the implementation of the project which meant that some objectives were delayed or needed extra funding. The organisation says they have learned to make its projects less ambitious. According to FF, it is better to achieve good results in small steps over several years, than to start a lot of activities that produce little to no result at all.

Partner Text: 

Fobang Foundation, Malaria No More Nederland


Malaria No More website on February 11 2012.


The Vietnam Handwashing Initiative

Created by the World Bank's Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), the Vietnam Handwashing Initiative aims to reduce disease and mortality through a behaviour change communication (BCC) programme to promote handwashing with soap among caretakers of children under 5 and among primary school children aged 6-10 years. The initiative includes both: (i) a national mass media campaign geared toward children, and (ii) a school-based interpersonal communication activities campaign. It aims to ensure that semi-urban and rural schoolchildren will:

Communication Strategies: 

Campaign development started with formative research conducted in July 2008 amongst children in 6 primary schools from 3 provinces to represent northern, central, and southern regions of Vietnam; in each province, one peri-urban and one rural area were chosen. Research methods included:

  • Family structure diagrams were developed by each child to learn about the social relationships within the child's household and how those relationships might affect children's ability to wash hands with soap. This method used pictures where the child (shown at the centre of the paper) drew lines to the person in the home they were closest to, spent the most time with, feared most, and so on.
  • Daily diaries were used to learn about what children do from morning to evening. Drawings of two clocks (one for morning, one for afternoon/evening hours) were used for children to fill in activities that they did for each hour(s) per day. This was done as a group exercise.
  • A series of Motivation Pictures showing various handwashing scenes were presented to children and they were asked to tell a story based on how they interpreted the pictures. The objective was to understand the emotional driver for washing hands such as disgust, morality, shame, regret, and so on.
  • Students were asked to name their favourite role models, the reasons for their admiration and to list the careers they wanted.
  • Belief interviews were conducted with individual students to understand what children believe are the benefits to washing hands with soap, the causes of diarrhoea, and so on.
  • In-depth interviews and focus group discussions with headmasters and teachers were carried out to understand the school's organisation.
  • Direct observations were made of water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities in both schools and homes to understand access and availability of water and soap.

Amongst the findings: a leading motivator for handwashing with soap is the desire to prevent others from getting sick (especially younger brothers and sisters). This and other findings were incorporated into a behavior change communication (BCC) campaign for children, launched in August 2009, using the theme "pride of the family". Handwashing with soap was positioned as an easy, fun, and smart behaviour with a tagline of "Wash your hands with soap for your own health and the health of others around you". WSP supported its partners to work with an advertising agency to develop a programme using an entertainment/education approach that was designed to generate interest and enthusiasm while promoting the practice of handwashing with soap. As a result, a campaign with colourful, attractive, and positive characters was developed around a superhero that gets special powers by handwashing with soap in order to help his family and others.


Rather than a top-down education approach, the campaign combined mass media and interpersonal communications activities. A series of 10 cartoon strips was printed in the weekly national children's "Youth" magazine beginning in September 2009. These were made into animated cartoons shown on the nightly children's television show "Goodnight Baby" beginning in March 2010. In addition, children's games were modified for use in schools along with singing of the "Five Clean Fingers" song used in the programme for mothers and grandmothers. A set of guidelines and an instructional DVD were made for training teachers about how to play the games as an addition to existing lessons on handwashing with soap. Each school within the programme areas will carry out 5 extracurricular activities throughout the year, including participating in a national handwashing drawing contest through the "Youth" magazine.

Development Issues: 

Children, Health.

Key Points: 

Vietnam is one of 4 countries within the WSP's Global Scaling-Up Handwashing Project (funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), which focuses on learning how to apply innovative promotional approaches to behaviour change to generate widespread and sustained improvements in handwashing with soap at scale among women of reproductive age (ages 15-49) and primary school-aged children (ages 5-9). Other countries include Peru, Senegal, and Tanzania.


Over 10,000 students have been reached thus far through the school programme, and an estimated 630,000 children have been reached via the mass media programme. Lessons learned so far include:

  • The consumer research state is crucial in developing a BCC campaign, as findings are very important for identifying the factors that determine behaviour and are used to make the campaign objectives.
  • Research tools need to be developed that can uncover the individual, family, and larger society factors that may help or stop people from washing hands with soap.
  • The normal research tools used with adults such as focus group discussion and in-depth interviews may not give enough useful insight needed as many children easily get bored with questions and are easily influenced by the responses of their friends. Thus, research activities need to be varied, participatory, and fun. Children should be allowed to take the lead. Pictures are a useful and easy way to get information and start discussion.
  • During brainstorming activities, it may be better to ask children to list only their top 3 choices rather than listing all of their ideas.
  • During pretesting, it is crucial to test at least 2 different campaign ideas; this ensures that audiences are provided a chance to respond to alternative concepts rather than only making comments on variations of the same concept. In this case, the campaign was tested with 2 different characters: a cartoon rabbit character and a more realistic rural school boy, Bi, who becomes a superhero. The character of Bi was more acceptable to children, and was further refined and pretested again several times before the final production. Ideally, there should be at least 2 rounds of pretesting.
  • Research and pretesting should be done by an experienced person who has worked with children before and who can turn the discussion into an activity or game to help keep the children's attention.
  • Timing is crucial. Start early when children are attentive and alert. Limit each group activity to one hour including a short break.
  • "The advertising agency was given the results of the children's research, as well as guidelines. However the agency did not use these fully. Although the creative ideas looked good, WSP and its partners often had to supervise closely so that the creative ideas reflected the research findings."

Ghana Behaviour Change Support Project


The Ghana Behaviour Change Support (BCS) project is a four-year multi media project, running from 2009 to 2013, assisting the Ghana Health Service (GHS) at the national, regional, and district levels to achieve health-related millennium development goals.

Communication Strategies: 

According to JHUCCP, the BCS project is audience focused and driven by the community and family levels, where behaviour and norms are formed. The primary focus is on households with children and youth, and the communities they live in, the providers they go to, and the district and national leaders that impact them. The project employs the Communication for Social change model, which blends community, interpersonal, and mass media approaches to build synergy around three strategic elements or engines:

  • Addressing a wide spectrum of health topics simultaneously through an integrated approach, Ghana BCS is creating educational and entertaining programmes/series that will go on over the duration of the project.
  • Utilising BCC campaigns to focus on one or two specific health issues at a time with high intensity and limited duration.
  • Working closely with regional, district, and sub-district health teams to build and strengthen the network of local non-governmental organisations to undertake effective and synergised community mobilisation in both rural and urban settings.

The BCS programme includes the following core activities:

    GoodLife Game Show: The purpose of the GoodLife Game Show is to entertain, inform, and educate audiences through an exciting platform that engages and challenges people to adopt healthy living habits. It is designed to move health messages beyond instructive commands to engaging people on issues relevant to their own daily lives.
  • GoodLife music: A large pool of both well known and new Ghanaian musicians submitted tracks for the GoodLife song. The "GoodLife Allstars," a group of young musicians, were selected from these applicants and recorded the song and video. The GoodLife song is part of the overarching multimedia campaign. In addition, a GoodLife New Years concert featured many popular Ghanaian artists including Iwan, Ohemaa Mercy, VIP, 4X4, Castro, Bra Kevin, 2 Toff, Borax, Atsu Koliko and many more.
  • Aha ye de: It’s Good Here: In June 2011 BCS and ProMPT, in partnership with the National Malaria Control Programme and the Ghana Health Service, launched the "Aha ye de" malaria campaign. "Aha ye de" means "It’s Good Here" in Twi, one of Ghana’s national languages. The campaign is designed to reposition the use of treated nets as a lifestyle decision, while at the same time preventing malaria, linking the BCS’s overarching GoodLife campaign. The "Aya ye de" campaign also included music by the Ghanaian hip hop artist Nana Boroo. GoodLife Materials: The project produced GoodLife mass media campaign materials, including billboards, posters, stickers and TV spots, as well as the Daily GoodLife Guide and GoodLife Quiz.

  • The Life Choices Family Planning Initiative: Family planning is one of five focal project areas, and the Life Choices Family Planning Initiative is an integral part of the Behavior Change Support Project in Ghana. There are three elements to the family planning programme. These include demand for family planning services, supply of contraceptives, and quality of services provided. Life Choices, which includes a music video for the "Life is what you make it" song, five-minute docu-dramas, and television spots, is the campaign that focuses on the demand for family planning services. As part of the initiative, “Life Choices” signboards and radio spots were flighted throughout three focus regions, and campaign support materials developed, including, press advertorial, flipchart, booklets, brochures, posters, and bumper stickers. A Family Planning Community Action Kit was produced, which includes the Youth Action Kit, Coach Guides, Teen Passport, and Trigger Sketches.

Click here to access the campaign materials and publications.

Development Issues: 

Maternal Neonatal & Child Health, Family Planning, Malaria Prevention & Treatment, Nutrition, Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene

Partner Text: 

USAID, Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP), Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service (GHS), CARE, PLAN International


JHUCCP website on December 18 2011.


Red Card Campaign


The Red Card Campaign, which ran between May and Dec 2010, used the sports metaphor of a red card to focus attention on the need to reduce children's, especially girls’ vulnerability to sexual exploitation during and after the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

Communication Strategies: 

Focusing in Johannesburg and Cape Town, 22 partner organisations participated in training and roll-out of activities designed to increase awareness of sexual exploitation and increase the ability and willingness of people to intervene to prevent and/or report it. Sonke developed an integrated set of activities that were also intended to change attitudes and behaviour, especially among men and boys. Overall, the campaign was designed to ensure that participants and viewers understood both the legal and the ethical dimensions of sexual exploitation broadly, but with an emphasis on the particular gravity of sexual exploitation of children.
The campaign used the following strategies.


Ambush Theatre
One of the key strategies of the campaign was the strong emphasis on Ambush Theatre. Also called Invisible Theatre, this involves the performance of a thought-provoking scene in a public space, without passers-by being aware that it is theatre. The audience is drawn into the action and invited to participate in a discussion of the issues. Sonke adopted this as a key means of raising awareness about sexual exploitation and demonstrating the Red Card approach. The Red Card toolkit included instructions on how to perform Ambush Theatre and an Ambush Theatre instructional video and real-world demonstration, filmed in Cape Town at the Claremont taxi rank during the campaign activation. The performance shows how Ambush Theatre can be used to get attention and spark debate and discussions around sexual exploitation of children and the "fouls" that deserve the Red Card.


Use of Media
Campaign messages were published and broadcast across local and national print, radio, and television media to reach people across the country. Ranging from Scrutinize television animerts which were broadcast widely on national TV during the World Cup, to radio public service announcements, interviews and full-page magazine ads, the media aspect of the campaign, sought to raise general awareness about child sexual exploitation, calling on the public to step in and stop potentially harmful situations.
In preparation for the campaign launch day, Sonke conducted training with selected volunteers from different communities. The training focused on forms of sexual exploitation, particularly involving children, and on how to use the Red Card as a tool to stop it. Participants learnt about "red card fouls", such as having sex with someone under age or buying stuff to get sex from a young person, and were equipped with red cards to use when they encounter any of these situations. Selected partner organisations were also been engaged, sensitised, and trained on the Red Card methodology and assisted in the role out of the campaign.
Partner organisation, Grassroots Soccer, worked with youth during their holiday camps to explain child sexual exploitation and its implications in terms of HIV risk. They distributed over 200,000 Red Cards through the Skillz Holiday Supplement and incorporated the Red Card approach into their curriculum for continued use.

Development Issues: 

Sexual Exploitation, HIV/AIDS

Key Points: 

According to Sonke, in terms of scope, the campaign reached a large number of people directly through training and public activities, and had a further media reach of millions of people. In total, 1,163 people completed the Sonke Red Card training which enabled them to roll out the campaign further, and 12,126 learners completed the Grassroot Soccer Red Card module. Initial workshop assessments indicated that, especially amongst Grassroot Soccer’s young participants, knowledge of the links between HIV and inter-generational sex improved significantly.

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Benin Integrated Family Health Project


Working since 2006 in the department of Zou-Collines, the Integrated Family Health Project, also known by its French acronym PISAF, focuses on maternal and neonatal health, child health, malaria, family planning, and HIV/AIDS. PISAF's three main objectives are to create a supportive implementation environment, increase access to quality services and products, and increase demand for health services, products, and preventive measures.

Communication Strategies: 

PISAF's activities are designed to support the Government of Benin’s national policies and strategies to improve the health status of the people of Benin. PISAF collaborates with non-governmental organisations (NGOs), government agencies, other donors and USAID projects, communities, and the private sector, including 147 public and 28 private health facilities. In late 2010, PISAF received additional resources to focus on the prevention and repair of obstetric fistula and improvements in vaccination coverage in Zou/Collines.

PISAF’s approach includes developing an integrated family health service delivery package; increasing access to services and essential family health medicines through logistics support; and supporting service integration, monitoring, and outreach support, among other strategies. In terms of communication, PISAF’s strategy focuses on community mobilisation campaigns to increase demand for quality products and services, as well as raising awareness among communities, health workers, and others about the causes, prevention, and treatment of malaria.

In 2009, PISAF produced and disseminated information, education and communication and behaviour change communication tools. This included updating the inventory of available IEC materials, analysing the materials for community relevance, and then adapting or translating them into local languages. Noting a lack of IEC/BCC media in the waiting rooms of health facilities in Zou/Collines, PISAF recorded a 50-minute DVD to be shown at clinics, entitled Le Bonheur du Ménage (The Happy Household) with two parts: 1) an awareness sketch on FP and 2) accounts from women, men, and community leaders on the advantages of family planning.

PISAF also implemented multimedia campaigns on family health issues to provide accurate health information to the communities. For example, PISAF signed ten partnership contracts with local radio stations, and service contracts with three popular theater companies, one primary school theater company, and one popular traditional musical group to create family health programming. In addition, 15 hosts from radio stations received training on designing, editing, and broadcasting radio messages to prevent and treat uncomplicated malaria in the home, prevent sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS, and on Mutual Health Organizations (MHOs), a new community level health insurance system. This culminated with the development of eight scripts for spots on MHOs that were translated into three languages, and then recorded, edited, and made ready for broadcasting.

PISAF also collaborated with local elected officials to involve them effectively in malaria control efforts in Zou/ Collines, providing orientation about the causes, signs, consequences, prevention, and treatment of uncomplicated malaria in the home. According to PISAF, after receiving training these leaders committed to direct involvement in controlling malaria in Zou/Collines through social mobilisation and advocacy activities.

As part of providing community-based care, community liaisons were trained in the management of childhood illnesses. Monthly follow-up sessions with community liaisons were held to strengthen their capacities, in particular in completing the management tools. Community stakeholders and care providers were also trained to improve the quality of services and care and to strengthen preventive measures by implementing awareness campaigns.

Through the President’s Malaria Initiative, PISAF is building the capacity of health services staff and managers and strengthening facility-based services. It is also working to build stronger data collection and reporting systems for malaria at the national level, as well as build the capacity of health services staff and managers and strengthen facility-based services.

Development Issues: 

Maternal health, Child health, Malaria, Family planning, HIV/AIDS

Key Points: 

According to PISAF, achievements have included the following:

  • identified and referred 39 cases of obstetric fistula from Zou/Collines for repair, with an overall success rate of 79% in a four-month period;
  • evaluated health system management in Zou/Collines, thus providing information on the current level of indicators calculated in 2006 to determine the progress PISAF had made;
  • Designed logistics management software and a web platform, Medistock, and scaled it up to the national level; ;
  • through the malaria collaborative, helped 52 health facilities in Zou/Collines increase their performance by 52% in treating febrile children under five with artemisinin-combination therapies (ACTs); and
  • facilitated the creation of 57 mutuelles to improve financial access to health services and spearheaded a national forum to enhance the professionalism of these organisations and promote collaboration among them.

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