Kenya suffers from one of the highest HIV rates in the world. Women are particularly vulnerable, with a national prevalence rate of 7%, versus 4.7% for men (2015, HIV Estimate report). Especially at risk are adolescent girls and young women (15-24 years old), who account for 21% of new infections.
There is strong evidence in the existing literature that an effective strategy to reduce the vulnerability of young women to HIV is by encouraging the completion of secondary school. Thus, in collaboration with Trocaire as part of the DREAMS Challenge, we devised a programmed focused on supporting adolescent girls and young women in Siaya County and in two urban informal settlements in Nairobi (Mukuru and Kangemi) to return to and/or remain in school.
Working together with community radio stations, Africa’s Voices sparked radio discussions on topics of relevance, including issues of education, puberty, reproductive health, and HIV/AIDS. Girls and young women will be encouraged to interact with the broadcasts via free SMS.
Africa’s Voices carried out near-time analysis of the attitudes and perceptions of adolescent girls and young women in the target communities, and more broadly in Nairobi and Siaya, throughout the project period. We analysed three principal data sources:
(1) SMS received in response to interactive radio broadcasts,
(2) SMS and social media generated through the One2One Integrated Digital Platform,
(3) data generated from mobile phone surveys. The rich insights we generated informed the project partners, so that they could design and deliver services that are tailored to the priorities and needs of adolescents girls.