SAN WEB Promising Practices Prevention – March 2011
Want to learn how you can increase Quality of Life skill programmes for youth?
Together with 16 local partners in Zambia and Zimbabwe, STOP AIDS NOW! is developing guidelines and tools to increase the quality of Life Skills programmes. The project aims to address common challenges and gaps within existing sexuality education and Life Skills programmes such as:
- Measure the effects on outcome level
- Address needs of HIV positive youth
- Youth volunteers management
- Integrating Livelihood activities
- Strengthening and supporting implementers
Keep on reading to learn more about the upcoming products…
Increasing the quality of HIV prevention for youth: Promising practices in Zambia and Zimbabwe
By Miriam Groenhof, Bertha Mukome and Blessed Mulenga Silavwe
STOP AIDS NOW! has initiated a two-year programme to increase the quality of HIV prevention programmes for youth. 16 NGO’s in Zambia and Zimbabwe, develop practical guidelines and tools to increase the quality of Life Skills programmes. Organisations that implement SRH education or HIV prevention for young people can use these tools to strengthen their staff professionally and increase the quality of their own Life Skills programme. The tools and products will become available in 2011.
The tools and products address gaps and challenges within existing Life Skills programmes. STOP AIDS NOW! and its partners aim to integrate lessons learnt, based on concrete experiences.
The following tools are being developed and will become available in 2011:
- A Toolkit that shows how to measure effects of sexuality education or HIV prevention programmes for youth on an outcome level.
- Guidelines on how to address needs of HIV positive youth in Life Skills programmes.
- Fact Sheets on Youth Volunteer Management – basic facts on: how to recruit, select, motivate and keep youth volunteers.
- Case study-report: Examples of integration of Livelihood activities into Life Skills programmes.
- A Checklist for effective implementation of Life Skills programmes.
How can you measure the effects of your programme on outcome level?
Together with Rutgers WPF, STOP AIDS NOW! and partners are developing a Toolkit for M&E, that organisations can use to measure the effects of sexuality education and HIV prevention programmes for youth on an outcome level.
Many organisations measure effects on an output level, for instance the amount of training they provide, or the number of youth they reach. But the more interesting questions are: Have the participants of changed their behaviour after participating? Or has there been a change in attitude, risk perception, perceived controlled behaviour, in self-efficacy or in social norms?
How to address the need of HIV positive youth within Life Skill programmes?
HIV positive youth can be hard to reach. Youth are themselves very mobile, and issues of stigma and discrimination prevent HIV positive youth from sharing their HIV status. With some small changes to the existing programmes, the partner organisations hope to meet their needs and to involve HIV positive youth.
Not only will this involvement motivate other youth for HIV prevention; it will also empower HIV positive youth against discrimination and feelings of isolation in their community. They will become role models and make their peers aware that it is possible to be HIV positive and a decent person, a professional – thereby hopefully decreasing existing prejudice against people living with HIV.
Partners, in collaboration with the youth, develop Guidelines for organisations on how they can adjust programmes and address the needs of HIV positive youth.
What are steps essential when motivating, recruiting, retaining and training Youth volunteers?
The success of Life Skills programmes is largely dependent on the volunteer base in schools and communities. Recruiting, selecting, training, motivating and retaining youth volunteers are important aspects of youth volunteer management. Despite tight budgets, partner organisations have found creative ways to perform these tasks, but a more formalised approach to volunteer management is needed. Four factsheets are developed. They provide essential information organisations need to know when working with (youth) volunteers.
How to integration Livelihood activities into Life Skills programmes?
The major obstacle to HIV prevention is poverty. Poverty has a big impact on the behaviour of young people. Formal jobs are not readily available to them, so practical entrepreneurial skills are useful for setting up their own businesses. Therefore it is logical to include Livelihood activities into the Life Skills programmes. There is already some experience with this integration and the results of income-generating programmes are promising so far. A case study report shows the experiences of the partners in Zambia and Zimbabwe.
How to strengthening, training and support of Life Skills implementers?
Capacity building has been acknowledged by the partner organisations as an important condition for the success of Life Skills programmes. This programme will strengthen organisations, trainers and the implementers of Life Skills programmes. A Checklist is made that enables providers to effectively implement Life Skills programmes.
How to increase ownership of Life Skills Programmes by beneficiaries?
It has been established by the partners, that in order to increase the levels of ownership by the beneficiaries of life skills programmes, there is a need for participation of the youths in the process of planning, developing and implementing the life skills programmes. This provides a more relevant combination of services and a user-friendly approach which will comprise of activities that the youth will easily identify with. It has been observed that Participatory programmes are more effective and yield higher results.
Together with the University of Amsterdam, local research teams in Zambia and Zimbabwe will measure the effects of the developed products. The research team has prepared the research objectives and design, together with the 16 organisations involved. The research is a combination of in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, a literature review of training manuals (Zambia) and an inventory and analysis of existing training manuals and guidelines (Zimbabwe). The applied research is planned in three phases: baseline (April – September 2010), mid-term (November – February 2011) and end line (Aug- Oct 2011).
The baseline studies showed the main challenges for both Zambia and Zimbabwe to be about the funding and resources needed to carry out proper training in practical Life Skills, Livelihood activities and M&E. There is also a socio-economical factor: job opportunities for youth are scarce and the necessary (seed) capital to encourage job opportunities – in both formal and informal employment – is often lacking.
The main promising practices differed for Zambia and Zimbabwe. In Zambia, it appears that providing youth with seed money after their skills training may enable them to start their own businesses. In Zimbabwe, M&E data are already being used to adjust prevention programmes, and therefore the sharing of behaviour change tools can be further promoted within the existing partnership.
Planning & Support Tool
A successful product that STOP AIDS NOW! has developed together with World Population Foundation is the Planning & Support Tool for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and HIV Prevention Interventions for Young People. The Planning & Support Tool is a practical guide that helps organisations analyze and plan their SRHR and HIV prevention programmes.
The Planning & Support Tool is evidence and rights-based, and follows the Intervention Mapping Model. This model emphasizes the use of evidence and encourages programme developers to work in a systematic way. Intervention Mapping is an add-on to the Logical Framework Approach (LFA) that many organisations in development collaboration use.
The Planning & Support Tool is available from the STOP AIDS NOW! website in English, French and Portuguese.
All information is shared as it becomes available, on our website www.stopaidsnow.org and in our quarterly Prevention for Youth e-newsletter. Be sure to sign up to receive the latest news about the programme, and the tools that are being developed.
About STOP AIDS NOW!
STOP AIDS NOW! is a partnership between Aids Fonds and four Dutch development organisations: Cordaid, Hivos, ICCO and Oxfam Novib. The partnership has been established to increase the funding to support local partners in the South working on HIV and AIDS. STOP AIDS NOW! strengthens their programmes through innovation, research, lobby and advocacy. Through its programmes, STOP AIDS NOW! has built extensive expertise in generating knowledge in developing countries through a ‘learning by doing’ approach.
‘Learning by doing’
The idea behind ‘learning by doing’ is to innovate, redefine and integrate new and existing strategies and methods on special thematic areas with local organisations in pilot countries. Once found to be successful, these strategies and methods can be further scaled up via the networks of the STOP AIDS NOW! partners. The process of ‘learning by doing’ can be seen as a cycle, it is an ongoing process. It is inspired by the learning cycle of Kolb.
For information about the project please contact:
General project coordinator: Miriam Groenhof, STOP AIDS NOW!: email@example.com
Project coordinator Zimbabwe: Bertha Mukome Family Aids Care Trust: firstname.lastname@example.org
Project coordinator Zambia: Blessed M. Silavwe, HODI, email@example.com
STOP AIDS NOW!
Keizersgracht 390, 1016 GB Amsterdam, the Netherlands
t + 31 (0)20.528.7828
f + 31 (0)20.627.5221