The purpose of this project is to develop research-based, culture- and gender-sensitive, sustainable, community-based interventions to promote sexual- and reproductive health among adolescents aged 12-14 years in southern and East Africa, with schools as the gateway for delivery. In two sites (Cape Town and Dar es Salaam), comprehensive, 'best practice', effectiveness studies will be implemented. The aim of the interventions for these studies is that the adolescents use condoms correctly and consistently, postpone sexual debut, or reduce the number of sexual partners. In two other African sites (Limpopo and Kampala), we shall carry out focused efficacy studies. The innovation in the proposal derives from the manner and extent to which we address gender-based violence; parent-child communication on sexuality; culture-specific norms, attitudes and beliefs; active involvement of school students in peer education; contextual factors (physical, organizational and cultural aspects of environments); and 'action planning'. The evaluation includes a process evaluation utilising mainly qualitative methods, and an outcome evaluation involving intervention and comparison groups at all sites. The sample for the effectiveness studies will consist of 15 matched pairs of schools (6000 students), with one school in each pair being randomly allocated to each of the groups in each site. The sample for the efficacy studies will consist of 40 school classes (1200 students) in each group in each site. The theoretical framework draws from social cognition and community mobilisation models. Statistical analyses will exploit current advances in structural equation modelling and multilevel analysis. The use of a biological marker (HSV2) as a proxy for sexual practices will be explored in the first two years of the project. This proposal is perfectly consistent with priorities described under area 184.108.40.206 – Strategies and interventions for improving reproductive health (SICA).
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Funding SchemeCP-FP-SICA - Small/medium-scale focused research project for specific cooperation actions dedicated to international cooperation partner countries(SICA)