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Mass media programming in reproductive health can influence individual behaviors by providing accurate information, building self-efficacy, and promoting attitudes and social norms that support healthy reproductive behaviors. This new High Impact Practices in Family Planning (HIP) brief describes the evidence on and experience with mass media programming in family planning.
The brief provides a summary of current evidence for mass media programming as well as tips on how mass media interventions can be combined with other evidence-based social and behavior change approaches to improve knowledge, attitudes and behaviors among community members that influence couples’ decisions around timing and spacing of pregnancies, including healthcare providers, parents and community leaders.
Mass media programming is one of several proven HIPs identified by a technical advisory group of international experts. A proven practice has sufficient evidence to recommend widespread implementation as part of a comprehensive family planning strategy, provided that there is monitoring of coverage, quality, and cost as well as implementation research to strengthen impact.
In 2016, the Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) project worked with five Pilot Partner (PP) organizations in Benin, Madagascar and Kenya to apply HC3’s Urban Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) Implementation Kit (I-Kit) to an existing project in its portfolio. The purpose of the I-Kit, available in English and French, is to strengthen program managers’ and youth organizers’ capacity to create or strengthen SRH SBCC programs for urban adolescents aged 10 to 19.
The I-Kit includes explanatory text to provide users with an overview of SBCC and SRH, seven SRH SBCC program design Essential Elements (EEs), practical worksheets, links to relevant external resources and illustrative examples based on a fictional scenario. The goal of the PP program was for HC3 to understand how organizations might use or adapt the I-Kit according to real project, country and work circumstances.
In Benin, HC3 worked with La Mutuelle de Jeunes Chrétiens pour le Développement (MJCD) and the Organisation pour le Service et la Vie (OSV-Jordan). In Madagascar, HC3 worked with Projet Jeune Leader (PJL) and Mpanazava Eto Madigasikara (MEM). In Kenya, HC3 partnered with Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK). Each PP selected relevant I-Kit sections to apply to its work, oriented its staff to the I-Kit and received HC3 technical support throughout the process. HC3 provided remote technical assistance (TA) on roughly a biweekly basis through email, Skype and phone calls, and on-site TA in Benin in April 2016, in Madagascar in May 2016 and in Kenya in September 2016.
The PP program included the following monitoring and evaluation (M&E) components:
- Pre- and post-tests to quantify learning and I-Kit experience among the PP staff
- Documentation of project progress through activity-specific monitoring and evaluation sheets
- A final report summarizing each PP’s I-Kit experience
- A post-project qualitative study to capture PPs’ experiences and perceived SBCC capacity strengthening
This report , authored by Erin Portillo, Marcela Tapia, and Allison Mobley, focuses on the latter qualitative study.