250300 School-Level Effects of the Go Girls! Initiative: Findings from Botswana, Malawi, and Mozambique

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 10:30 AM

Carol Underwood, PhD , Dept of Health, Behavior & Society, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Hilary Schwandt, PhD , Center for Communication Programs, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Purpose: The Go Girls! Initiative (GGI) adopted a social ecological approach to HIV prevention, so included individual-, family-, school-, community-, and structural-level interventions. This presentation focuses on the effects of the school personnel intervention, implemented in half of the schools in program-focus communities in Botswana, Malawi, and Mozambique. The curriculum guided participants through discussions about power, coercion, and appropriate teacher-student relationships and gave them the opportunity to design school-based action plans to reduce girls' vulnerability to HIV/AIDS. Data: Baseline (2009) and endline (2010) surveys with random samples of girls aged 10-17 at baseline and 11-18 at endline were conducted in the 16 GGI implementation communities. The sample sizes for baseline/endline were 544/401 in Botswana; 823/414 in Malawi; and 918/607 in Mozambique. Methods: A quasi- experimental, separate-sample baseline and endline design was used to evaluate the program. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted. Results: Compared with adolescent respondents at baseline as well as at endline in the non-intervention schools, girls in the intervention schools were statistically and significantly more likely to report that: it is very easy or easy to talk with teachers about HIV/AIDS; there had been a decrease over the past year in teachers offering students favors in exchange for sex; they felt safe or very safe in school. Recommendations: School-level interventions are an important aspect of reducing girls' vulnerability to HIV/AIDS. These results demonstrate positive effects after a year of implementation.

Learning Areas:
Program planning
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe the effects of a school personnel program on female students' perceptions of school safety.

Keywords: Adolescents, International, HIV Interventions

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was a co-PI on this project and participated in the data analysis and report writing from which this presentation was drawn.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.