External Evaluation of the Southern African Regional Social and Behavior Change Communication Program, as Implemented in Namibia

Abstract

This report describes the findings from the external evaluation of the Namibia component of the Southern African Regional Social and Behavior Change Communication Program. The program, which has been implemented in eight countries in Southern Africa with funding from the British Department for International Development (DfID) aims to reduce HIV infection by increasing health awareness and by facilitating social and behavioral change through the use of both mass media and community-based activities. In Namibia, the program is implemented by Desert Soul/Soul City and the Southern African HIV and AIDS Dissemination Service (SAfAIDS). The main objective of the evaluation is to assess the net effect of exposure to various components of the program on key indicators of HIV knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors, after controlling for other factors. In addition, the results of the study will be used for a separate analysis of the cost-effectiveness of the program. The evaluation is based on a nationally representative survey of male and females aged 15-49. Nearly one in five persons has been exposed to the SAfAIDS campaign. Exposure does not vary by gender, but exposure is much lower in areas near border posts than in either rural or urban areas. Levels of exposure in rural areas are similar to those in urban areas. Overall, the mass communication and community-based interventions of OneLove/Desert Soul and SAfAIDS have demonstrated impacts upon many of the key knowledge, attitude and behavioral outcomes that are the targets of their programmatic efforts. However, these effects of the program are highly dependent on the type of intervention (radio, television or print), and this evaluation noted considerable inconsistencies in measured effects across the range of exposure measures. In several cases, the intensity of exposure (mainly, the number of channels of exposure) is found to have a dose-response relationship with outcome variables, thus substantiating the relationship between exposure and the outcomes.

Citation

Hutchinson, P.; Meekers, D.; Wheeler, J.; Hembling, J.; Anglewicz, P.; Silvestre, E.; Keating, J. External Evaluation of the Southern African Regional Social and Behavior Change Communication Program, as Implemented in Namibia. Tulane University, USA (2012) 122 pp.

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