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Impact Assessment of Dance4life’s School-Based Programme for Young People

In 2011, dance4life (d4l) commissioned KIT to study and make recommendations to improve the efficiency and impact of its programme. As a result of the findings, d4l to launched a new campaign targeting the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of young people and their communities in Russia and Uganda.

Meaningful involvement and strategic planning

Many countries still cannot ensure adequate access to quality SRHR-related prevention and care services. Complications in pregnancy and childbirth are the primary cause of mortality among adolescent girls in developing countries. Moreover, young people are disproportionally affected by HIV: 45% of new infections occur in the 15-24 age bracket.

d4l aims to ensure meaningful involvement of young people by improving access to sex education and youth-friendly services, and challenging the stigma and discrimination around sexuality and sexual health – especially HIV and AIDS. d4l has already reached half a million adolescents in 27 countries and hopes to reach millions more.

Results of a critical analysis

In 2011, mixed-method research was undertaken in the Jinja and Luuka districts of Uganda and four regional capitals of Russia: Izhevsk (Udmurtia), Tomsk, Tver and Chelyabinsk. The project consisted of questionnaires, focus groups and in-depth interviews with students aged 13-23.

The research tools were pre-tested, translated into the local language and back-translated for quality assurance. Ethical approval was obtained and two schools in the Netherlands served as a pilot for the study.

Participants reported a marked change in their and other participants’ behaviour and a better understanding and respect for the rights of people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA). Many of the young people interviewed said they felt more responsible as a result of their participation in dance4life. They also expressed a desire to act as role models and mentors to other young people hoping to effect change in their lives too.

KIT received further positive feedback in terms of life skill development such as self-control, confidence, decision making and problem-solving. The most significant effect came from increased awareness about HIV and HIV prevention.

The findings have been discussed and used extensively by dance4life as part of an organisational strategic review carried out in 2011. Issues of sustainability, targeting and meaningful youth involvement feature strongly in the new strategy, which is currently being piloted towards full implementation this year (2014).

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Quotes from participants

They value their lives; now they feel like they should influence the community at large. They are more confident, and even some are smarter than they used to be. 

Quotes from young people participated in research and dance4life program in Uganda and Russia about people living with HIV/AIDS

If a person is sick, they are not dead – so we should care for and support them. 
Participant, IDI, Uganda
Before I joined that programme I used to hate those people living with HIV, but now after joining that programme, for sure I try to understand and even I give them advice so that they can guide others. 
Participant, mixed FGD, VHS, Uganda
Before, I thought that they should be deported to an island so that only they lived there. The project has changed my point of view. Now I know that one can live with them, shake hands, hug, kiss and everything will be fine. 
Participant FGD, Russia

Services delivered

  • Monitoring, Evaluation & Impact Assessment

  • Policy & Programme Design

    KIT operates at the intersection of theory and practice and between policy and implementation, translating good intentions into meaningful social and economic impact. Our professional staff combine expertise in specific content areas with the ability to offer a diverse suite of advisory services, including policy and programme design and implementation. This experience enables our advisors to navigate sustainable development processes and identify elements that can make a difference in programme performance. We help governments, organisations and businesses to learn from their experiences, improve practice, and maximize the impact of their interventions. With the knowledge we share, public and private investors are better equipped to identify the investments that yield highest economic and social impact.