Author: Rakotonanahary, A.; Rafransoa, Z.
The evaluation was carried out to gather baseline information needed in the design and implementation of a forthcoming UNICEF-supported HIV/STDs control programme. It examined community mobilization activities and interventions conducted by partner organizations with assistance from UNICEF.
Purpose / Objective
The evaluation had two purposes:
- To make an external assessment of the project activities
- To have a practical application of focus group methodology, following a workshop on evaluation techniques
Information was collected from 441 participants in 46 focus groups, in nine sites. Six of the sites were areas of project intervention. Three sites were areas where the two implementing partners plan to begin interventions among targeted groups. The focus groups were formed by many different types of people, including:apprentices, students, soldiers, religious clubs, sports clubs, prostitutes, health workers, university administrators, health workers, drivers, dock workers, mothers, neighborhood and street children, sailors, police officers, and tireurs de pousse.
All stages of the study were participatory, including meetings with partners and group participants to discuss conclusions, findings and possible solutions to problems. The information collected was mainly on knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices relevant to the transmission and prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). No attempt was made to measure or
assess the impact of the project.
Key Findings and Conclusions
The IEC messages were not well understood or remembered by many of the target audiences.
Clubs that integrated HIV/AIDS and STI information into their other activities did the most successful IEC activities.
A mutual lack of familiarity between the implementing partners and the IEC audiences led to communication barriers.
The IEC activities did not address the growing fear and stigmatization towards persons living with HIV/AIDS.
Little learning from experience takes place among the implementing partners.
Implementing partners need capacity building.
The IEC activities need to take into account the socio-economic characteristics, attitudes, beliefs and practices of the target audiences, and tailor messages accordingly.
Grass-roots level groups such as AIDS clubs at schools and Stop-AIDS associations in the police, military and among workers can be very effective in mobilising people to practice safe sexual behaviour.
NGOs selected to do IEC about HIV/AIDS should have a close relationship of mutual understanding and trust with the target audiences.
IEC about HIV/AIDS should include not only information on transmission and prevention, but also advocacy for the care and support of persons infected and affected.
Implementing partners should exchange lessons learned and share information, through workshops, newsletters, or through forming a network.
Implementing partners need assistance in identifying needs, setting goals, and implementing strategies to achieve goals, including better training for staff.
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HIV/AIDS - Young People
Government of Madagascar