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AFRO-NETS> Sexual health youth projects - using illiterate peer educators (2)

  • Subject: AFRO-NETS> Sexual health youth projects - using illiterate peer educators (2)
  • From: Emmanuel Nsutebu <emmanuel@ensutebu.freeserve.co.uk>
  • Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1999 00:17:26 -0500 (EST)

Sexual health youth projects - using illiterate peer educators (2)


The Family Health Trust in Lusaka-Zambia runs a wonderful peer educa-
tion programme for youths through Anti-AIDS Youth Clubs. Most of the
youth involved are illiterate or semi-illiterate. Previously the data
recorded by the peer educators was simply the time and place of the
health educational activity. I visited the Family Health Trust in Oc-
tober and we worked on designing a checklist for monitoring and
evaluation of their club activities. It was decided that a simple and
usable checklist should be developed in association with the peer
educators. The idea was not driven by donor demands for monitoring as
in your case, but by the need to improve the effectiveness of the

The following data were suggested by the Family Health Trust staff
for inclusion in such a tool:

1. Date and place:

2. Group or person carrying out health education:

3. Approximate number of persons in audience: - at beginning, during
and end of activity. This gives an indication of how interesting the
educational activity was and also how many people actually got the
message since the most important part of the educational activity is
often the discussion at the end.

4. Characteristic of the audience: Mainly women/men; mainly children/

5. Number of handouts distributed:

6. Number of condoms distributed:

7. Problems faced: -difficult for illiterate persons but a list of
problems can be developed with the peer educators and included for
ticking or encircling.

The checklist can be filled in by one of the peer educators not di-
rectly involved in the education activity. In addition, all the ques-
tions can be illustrated in picture form and the peer educators
trained to use the form. If there are difficulties in estimating num-
bers, training may be provided or actual ranges provided for ticking
or encircling.

The information obtained from illiterate peer educators may not be
very accurate, however, it is still useful and can be used to in-
crease the effectiveness of programmes (donors must be made aware of
this). Since the ability to read and write may vary considerably even
among the illiterate peer educators it is important to work with peer
educators to develop a tool which suites the specific group you are
dealing with. One should therefore seek to strike a balance between
the feasibility of data collection by the peer educators and the ac-
curacy of the information required. Hope this was helpful,

Please contact Mr Chalowandya Mwape of the Family Health Trust
(mailto:fht@zamnet.zm) for information on further developments.

Good luck,

Dr Emmanuel Fru Nsutebu MD, MPH

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