Please note: This archive was last updated in 2005.

RHO archives : Topics : Information and Communication Tech.

Program Examples

  • Guatemala and Colombia: Launching reproductive health hotlines for youth.
  • Honduras: Promoting dialogue and action on HIV/AIDS.
  • India: Health InterNetwork demonstrates how national and international partnerships can bridge the digital divide in health information.
  • Peru: Linking health care providers through telecommunication.
  • Uganda: Using walkie-talkies to connect traditional birth attendants with local health centers.
  • Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe: Building the ICT capacity of women's NGOs.
  • Global (Sexwise): Blended technologies offer sexuality education.
  • Global (Staying Alive): Using blended technologies to deliver HIV-prevention education to youth.

Submit your own Program Example.

Guatemala and Colombia

The Need

Early childbearing, unsafe abortion, HIV/STIs, sexual violence, drug and alcohol addiction, family tensions, and psychological distress are all common problems among youth in Guatemala and Colombia. A national survey in Guatemala (DHS, 1998/99) indicated that 44.3 percent of adolescent girls aged 10 to 19 were mothers or were currently pregnant. In a Colombian survey, 66 percent of youth did not know how to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and nearly 60 percent did not think they were at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS (PROFAMILIA 1995).

Program Activities

Youth telephone hotlines were established by the IPPF/WHR affiliates in both of these countries as a means of providing an anonymous and free point of first contact for adolescents in need of sexual and reproductive health information, counseling, and referral. In Guatemala, the Asociacin Pro-Bienestar de la Familia (APROFAM) ran a telephone counseling and referral service for 16 years (19801996), fielding 40 to 100 calls a day or 7,000 per year. In 1999, the organization sought to capitalize on this expertise and focus on adolescents, establishing a youth hotline with funding from the Netherlands Trust Fund.

In Colombia, PROFAMILIA has successfully operated a nationwide telephone information service since 1991. Due to the growing demand among youth for this service, as well as the need to provide them with free and confidential access to accurate information on sexual and reproductive health, PROFAMILIA launched a three-year youth hotline project in 1996 with funding from the Hewlett Foundation.

Program Results

Guatemala's youth hotline project received a total of 954 calls during the initial 18-month period of the project, mostly from the Guatemala City metropolitan area. Youth called seeking information or counseling on a variety of concerns, including contraception (15%), abortion (13%), fear of pregnancy (12%), information about youth services (12%), STIs/HIV (6%), self-esteem (4%), and emotional crisis (4%). Approximately 30 adults also called with concerns about adolescents. APROFAM had expected a larger number of calls and attributed the low call volume to logistical problems. For example, there was a delay in the telephone line installation, the hotline number was changed twice, and initially calls from public telephone booths were not free. Furthermore, advertising for the hotline was launched at election time and was lost in a sea of political advertisement.

According to the results of APROFAM's caller survey, however, all users were either very satisfied (50%) or satisfied (50%) with the hotline service. Some 90 percent of callers were referred to APROFAM's youth clinic, which registered 366 visits directly attributable to hotline referral (14% of all visits during the project period). Colombia's youth hotline project also proved to be a success. Calls from adolescents increased 139 percent from a monthly average of 144 calls at the beginning of the project to 345 calls per month, and the average proportion of young male callers increased from 10 to 15 percent. Calls came from youth around the country, including large urban centers, smaller cities, and rural areas. Nearly 9,000 calls were received through the youth hotline during the three-year project period. The majority of requests for information were related to family planning methods, especially emergency contraception and injectables, pregnancy risk, STIs, and couple relations.

Lessons Learned

These two projects have shown that youth hotlines can serve as an important point of first contact for youth seeking sexual and reproductive health information, counseling, and related services.

Ongoing marketing is key to the success of youth hotlines. Radio campaigns proved especially fruitful for PROFAMILIA in Colombia. Developing strategic alliances with other organizations also can help disseminate information about the service to youth. Participating in a nationwide youth meeting helped PROFAMILIA develop ties with youth-serving agencies that in turn promoted the hotline to their clients.

Logistical problems can frustrate callers and affect demand for services. Marketing and promotion campaigns should be strategically timed, and potential logistical delays in the service should be anticipated.

Because it can be difficult for youth to discuss issues related to their sexuality, handling these calls often requires more time and patience than when dealing with adults, and adequate staffing is required. Hotline staff must have access to up-to-date information on available services for youth. This is especially important when the hotline service is offered nationwide and youth are to be referred to services in multiple sites. Hotline staff should receive comprehensive training covering a broad range of topics, such as adolescent development, sexual and reproductive health, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual harassment and gender-based violence, and making referrals to other organizations.

Since hotlines are often a free service, project sustainability can become an issue if donor funding is not forthcoming. Cross-subsidization from clinical services should be considered as a possible strategy for sustainability.

For more information on APROFRAMs project, please contact:
Asociacin Pro-Bienestar de la Familia de Guatemala (APROFAM),

Email: [email protected]; Website:

For more information on PROFAMILIAs project, please contact:
Asociacin Pro-Bienestar de la Familia Colombiana (PROFAMILIA)
Email: [email protected]m; Website:

Information adapted from: IPPF/WHR. Youth telephone hotlines In Guatemala and Colombia. IPPF/WHR Spotlight on Youth No. 5 (2001). Available at:

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The need

HIV/AIDS is an increasing problem in Honduras. Half of the HIV-infected people in Central America live in Honduras, according to the American Embassy there. Approximately one out of every one hundred adults is infected, with most cases among people aged 20 to 45. The Fundación Fomento en Salud (FFS), which promotes dialogue and action on health problems of the Honduran population, established the AIDS Documentation and Information Centre (Centro de Documentación e Información en SIDA) in response to this crisis. The FFS partnered with USAID and the Honduran Ministry of Health to implement this educational/informational project with the intent of improving awareness about the prevention of HIV/AIDS/STDs among the people of Honduras.

Program activities

The AIDS Documentation and Information Centre collects and disseminates information and materials related to prevention and safer lifestyles. Specific activities include:

  • Offering more and better access to HIV/AIDS/STD prevention information and other topics related to violence, gender, human rights, and sexuality.
  • Facilitating the exchange of electronic information amongst NGOs that currently work in this area.
  • Facilitating the dissemination of information prepared by national and international institutions, professionals, and researchers in a timely way.
  • Maintaining an updated information database published by national and international institutions, professionals, and researchers.
  • Training involved NGOs in the use of services and sources from the information center.
  • Making all the materials and information describing the Fundación Fomento en Salud program available.

Program results

The center developed a qualitative and quantitative framework to evaluate the project. Measured objectives include:

  • Ensuring that updated information is available for users of the centre.
  • Providing more and better responses to the requests of the clients of the centre. The clients of the centre will receive electronic direction, support for searches, and training in how to access information through a database and catalogues. Answers to information requests must also be made available via the Internet, telephone, and email.
  • Improving the NGO community's knowledge about prevention of HIV/AIDS/STIs through access to timely, updated, and accurate information.
  • Improving the quality of HIV/AIDS prevention information presented in the national mass media.
  • Ensuring that leaders in the prevention of HIV/AIDS are better informed.

The project has focused on strengthening behaviors in high prevalence groups and has created a sustainable and effective condom social marketing project and promotes the use of new, rapid HIV tests. The program also awards sub-grants to roughly 15 NGOs implementing prevention projects aimed at high-risk groups.

The center collaborated with Comunicación y Vida and COMVIDA, a government municipality program in San Pedro Sula, where an information kiosk has been established. Located in a city with high HIV rates, it reports reaching about 1,117 persons per week with social mobilization activities, 43 people a day with educational materials, and more than 100 persons per day through the distribution of contraceptives and other materials.

Other partners and collaborators include Family Health International’s IMPACT project, Johns Hopkins University/Population Communication Services Project, USAID, Honduras Social Security Institute, Public Health Ministry, and PASCA (Proyecto Acción SIDA de Centroamérica—the Central American Project for AIDS Action).

Information adapted from: Feeks W, Long G. The Digital Pulse: The Current and Future Applications of Information and Communication Technologies for Developmental Health Priorities. Victoria, Canada: Communication Initiative; 2003. Available at:

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Jorge A. Higuero Crespo, Edificio CIICSA, 1° piso, Col. Palmira, Avenida República de Panamá, Tegucigalpa, m.D.C., Honduras
Telephone: +504 235 8942 & 235 8778; Fax: +504 235 8898; Email: [email protected]

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The need

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) launched the Health InterNetwork (HIN) India project ( in 2000. Part of the Millennium Action Plan, this pilot project was designed to document and assess the impact of ICTs on the flow of reliable, timely, and relevant information for health services provision, policy making, and research. WHO and UNDP sought to demonstrate how national and international partnerships can bridge the digital divide and, particularly, to evaluate and better understand the challenges of improving the flow of and access to relevant health information in developing countries. Working with local organizations to ensure relevance and sustainability was central to the pilot project’s objectives.

Program activities

The HIN initiative has four focus areas: connectivity, content, capacity building, and policy. India was chosen for the pilot for a number of reasons, including the availability of resources and skills, its public health program, the range of agencies that provide health services, and a growing private sector. About 40 partner organizations—Indian national and state governmental departments, local UN agencies, NGOs, research institutions, health service facilities, universities, and private sector partners—collaborated through the WHO’s India office. The pilot focused on two national priority health programs in India, tuberculosis control and tobacco control, and emphasized strengthening ICT capacity at medical colleges.

Program activities included:

  • Facilitating development of the Health Research Information System and developing interfaces to allow integrated access to various health data sources.
  • Networking key Medical College Libraries in two reference states with the National Medical Library.
  • Electronic publishing of key medical journals, health research reports and policy documents related to tuberculosis and tobacco control and creating integrated electronic databases of the same.
  • Establishing internet connectivity at the selected access points and networking key research institutions related to tuberculosis and tobacco control with policy makers and service providers.
  • Developing training modules and conducting the initial training for the pilot project participants.
  • Supporting ICT applications to enhance and support identified priority programs such as TB and tobacco control (

For example, the Rajiv Ghando University of Health Sciences was a local leader of the initiative to increase access to peer-reviewed journals and led a consortium of Indian medical college libraries in Karnataka to share online subscriptions to 250 biomedical journals.

Program results

Connectivity: The project introduced ICT into seven primary health centers and three community health centers, and upgraded computers, internet connection, and networks in four research institutions and two medical colleges. A basic package consisted of a desktop computer, printer, scanner, electrical and telephone connection, and a subscription to an Internet service provider. The length of time it took to establish connectivity took longer than anticipated, sometimes over a year rather than six months as planned.

Content: The experience showed that providing people with access to information with content relevant to their region and needs is an important incentive to using ICTs. While this seems obvious, so much of the world’s health research is aimed at industrialized nations, making much of the information health care providers in developing countries might access on the Internet less relevant to their settings.

Capacity building: Through local firms, the project provided basic computer and Internet skills training for more than 300 staff and students at pilot sites. This was a catalyst to networking among professionals and supported local business.

Policy: Not surprisingly, the project found significant difference in Internet access within India: 50 percent of private sector doctors have access versus less than 20 percent of government doctors; researchers and administrators have the highest access, about 75 percent; and professionals of such high ranks are predominantly male. HIN addressed these problems by installing computers in women’s residences at medical colleges and providing training at primary health care centers.

Lessons learned

The challenges HIN India faced provide important lessons learned for any ICT and development programs. Although a core objective was for the Indian organization to lead the project, demands for efficiency caused the WHO to play a larger leadership role than originally planned. The project showed that national and international partnerships can be successful at this work, but finding best practices to ensure local ownership and sustainability is an ongoing challenge. Further work is needed to evaluate the longer-term impact and to establish best practices.

A holistic approach to ICT introduction is needed:

  • ICT must be integrated with training in basic computer skills, otherwise the introduction of ICTs can actually exacerbate inequalities and inefficiencies in health care systems.
  • Likewise, strategic allocation of computers and training to reach the health care professionals less likely to have access to the internet and computers skills (e.g., women, lower ranked professionals) can prevent the introduction of ICTs from actually increasing inequalities in health information access.
  • The content of the information made available needs to be relevant to users lives and needs. For example, providing access to information that is in local languages is vital to many community health workers.

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The Need

Alto Amazonas is a province twice the size of Belgium, but with rivers as roads. It includes 1 provincial hospital (Yurimaguas), 11 health centers (HCs), and 81 health posts (HPs). Only the hospital and two HCs had a telephone. Seventy-one percent of the establishments had no communication system; the other 29 percent had a VHF radio, or a public telephone in the town. Only one HP had a physician in charge; nurse technicians headed the rest. The average time to travel from an HP to its reference HC was 11 hours (9 hours for urgent cases).

Program Activities

The Technical University of Madrid and Engineering Without Frontiers are developing low-cost telecommunication systems and information services for rural primary health care personnel in isolated areas of developing countries. In September 2001, the Enlace Hispano Americano de Salud (EHAS) program was introduced in Alto Amazonas, in the Peruvian rain forest. EHAS has deployed telecommunication systems in 40 establishments in the southern part of the province (1 email server in the urban hospital, 6 more in HCs, and 33 client systems in HPs). All the systems are powered by solar panels and use VHF radio-based voice and data communication technologies, which are easy to use, robust, and inexpensive to run.

Program Results

The program has provided voice and email communications (97% and 90%, respectively); enabled tele-consultations with reference sites (more than 700 diagnostic or treatment tele-consultations were carried out in 9 months, of which 97% were successfully resolved); improved efficiency of epidemiological data collection (75% reduction in the number of journeys required to send reports; 50% reduction in report preparation time); improved efficiency of urgent patient referrals (3 hours reduction in average transfer time, and advance communication between HP and HC/hospital). The vast majority of users found it easy to use the computer and email, after two training courses of five days each. Health managers and administrators as well as users readily accepted the system. One hundred percent were satisfied with the voice system, 71 percent with the email, and 93 percent with the computer. It is estimated that the complete system can pay for itself within two and a half years based on the savings in travel and patient referrals.

For more information, please contact:
Andrs Martnez, EHAS
Email: [email protected]; Website:

Information adapted from Martnez, A and Villarroel, V. ICTs for health in the Amazon rainforest. INASP Newsletter No. 23 (June 2003 ). Available at:

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The Need

Uganda is largely rural, with 80 percent of its population living in rural areas. The maternal mortality rate is estimated at 506 per 100,000, with only 38 percent of births attended by trained health workers. Traditional birth attendants (TBAs) and relatives attend the other 62 percent. Expanding the referral system and improving the TBA network were among the strategies and activities identified as priorities by the Ugandan Ministry of Health.

Project Activities

The Rural Extended Services and Care for Ultimate Emergency Relief (RESCUER) was launched in March 1996 in the Iganga District of eastern Uganda. It is a referral project, initiated by the Ministry of Health, UNFPA, and the Uganda Population Secretariat. It was designed to link the traditional rural community health providers with the formal health delivery system in a cost-effective way.

When an obstetric emergency occurs in a village, a TBA uses a walkie-talkie to call for assistance from the nearest health unit, and a message on what to do is immediately relayed over the radio system. If the TBA cannot manage the case, transport, with a midwife, is dispatched from the health unit to collect the patient. If a case cannot be managed at the HC level, the hospital is called and an ambulance is sent to transport the patient to the referral hospital.

RESCUER has three components: communication, transport, and delivery of quality health services. VHF radio was selected for use in the project. This included fixed base stations at the health units, mobile walkie-talkies with the TBAs, and vehicle radios in the referral hospital ambulance and the District Medical Officers vehicle. The VHF radio communication is solar-powered, avoiding the common electric power shortage or surge problems.

Project Results

The increased number of deliveries under trained personnel and increased referrals to health units led to a reduction of about 50 percent in the maternal mortality rate (MMR) in the Iganga district in three years as indicated below. For the TBAs, the walkie-talkie technology was a source of empowerment as it improved their image and credibility, which in turn, increased compliance with referral advice and also augmented their income by increasing the number of women to whom they attended. A comment by a TBA who is not able to write summed up her appreciation of the system: Since I cant write, it was difficult for me to refer women; I had to go with them to the health unit and explain. . . . but now, the walkie-talkie saved [sic] me all that trouble, because I just call the midwife and explain the condition of the person I am referring. I dont have to go escorting every person I refer. The communication technology reduced isolation and facilitated consultation. Panic situations and the uncertain management of complications were also reduced.

Lessons Learned

A critical mass of complementary activities is needed to achieve maximum impact.
The study found that although the communication component made a very significant contribution to the success of the RESCUER project, it could not stand on its own. For the project to achieve its objectives of improved referrals leading to increased deliveries by trained personnel, the transportation and quality of service delivery also had to be effective.

The impact of ICTs is enhanced if the technology is appropriate to the local conditions.
The use of solar power by the radio communication system could also benefit rural health units, which have no electricity. In particular, the study recommended that the solar power should be extended to provide light in the maternity wards and labor suites in the first-level referral units.

The simple design of the radio communication system facilitated its use according to all the people interviewed.
The public audibility of the radio communication system renders it difficult to abuse or misuse. Interviewees reported that calls made are usually brief and to the point, and that the nature of this ICT protects it from theft.

A multi-tiered ICT approach can help bring the benefits of advanced technology to rural populations in sub-Saharan Africa.
Such an approach could cater to the different capabilities in African situations. For example, telemedicine and other advanced technologies (such as the Internet) can be adopted at the district hospital; simple technologies like radio can serve lower levels (rural health units, TBAs, etc.). The consultations made by lower units to the district hospital would ensure that the rural population benefits indirectly from the technology.

The project built on existing infrastructure and local capacity, including traditional knowledge systems.
The RESCUER project brought together traditional and modern health practitioners and instilled mutual understanding and trust that has enhanced maternal health care.

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Maria G.N. Musoke, Makerere University, P.O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda
Telephone: 256-41-534149/533475; Fax: 256-41-540374/530024

Information adapted from World Bank. IKNotes No. 40 (January 2002). Available at:

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Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe

Through an innovative project called Women Connect! the Pacific Institute for Womens Health worked with women's nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe to optimize their use of new information and communication technology (ICT).

The Need

Womens NGOs in developing countries have had limited capacity to communicate effectively about their work, often because they lack resources and are isolated from other groups. The isolation has intensified during the Information Age, leaving many NGOs on the wrong side of the digital divide.

Program Mission

To bring about greater empowerment of women through the effective use of communication strategies in media and technology, through collaboration, communications, training, and information sharing, and to help womens organizations strengthen their ability to achieve their own objectives, especially in the areas of womens health and well-being.

Program Activities

The project focused on strategies to enhance NGOs rather than focusing on the mechanics of connection. Thirty organizations with emphasis on heath in their work and a desire to develop communication strategies participated in the program. An umbrella organization that could link to a network of womens groups in each country co-hosted media strategy and ICT workshops. Four-day workshops were held and assistance was given to develop small grant proposals. The Pacific Institute awarded small grants, trained a "technology advocate" within each NGO to provide leadership and oversight, and served as a resource for current health and advocacy materials for a variety of NGO communication projects. They also worked to find funding to ensure sustainability for the projects when the original funding ended.

Examples of the Programs

In Uganda, the Uganda Women's Network (UWONET) has been a leader in advocating for passage of a domestic relations bill. This legislative measure would extend protection to women regarding marriage, property, and child custody rights, but the bill has languished in Parliament for 36 years. After participating in the Women Connect! media and ICT workshops, UWONET identified some of its shortcomings and started reshaping its message for an upcoming media campaign. As UWONET's director Sheila Kawamara says, "We realize now that we have pointed fingers and not understood people's problems and realities. We need to look at issues through the eyes of the people we are trying to reach." UWONET has also used a small grant from the Women Connect! project to conduct a needs assessment in order to determine which messages will work best to build popular support for the domestic relations bill.

In Zimbabwe, as elsewhere, coercion and violence are frequent factors in unwanted pregnancy and in the transmission of sexually transmitted infections. With media and ICT training, technical assistance, and a small grant, the Musasa Project has publicized its counseling and legal services for victims of domestic violence through a website and local radio shows.

KARA Counselling, a Zambian AIDS service organization, offers vocational training and literacy classes for people with HIV, as well as HIV-prevention classes. With a Pacific Institute grant and training, KARA launched a media campaign through radio programs in several languages that targeted female students at risk for HIV/AIDS.

Program Results

Project partners better understand the multiple applications of ICT and the need to be careful in making choices. Many are reducing costs by using email in place of long-distance phones and faxes. Nine of the participating organizations were connected; the most tangible benefit of connectivity has been in enhancing regional and international links.

Lessons Learned

  • Work with fewer organizations to allow for more funding and individual attention.
  • Cluster groups for collaboration around shared interests.
  • Contract local project facilitators to work more closely with participants as trainers.
  • The small grants were very important to allow NGOs to implement workshop training and build capacity.
  • Staff turnover of approximately 35 percent at an NGO limited the benefits of the training workshops and technical support. The program could have been designed to provide and reinforce learning throughout the span of the project.
  • Finding local technical support was cost-effective, sometimes difficult, and worth the effort.
  • Umbrella organizations were not the ideal structure for extending project benefits to other organizations.


The in-country activities for the Women Connect! project have now concluded. In February 2002, evaluation dissemination workshops were held in Uganda and Zimbabwe. A copy of the project evaluation is available by contacting Muadi Mukenge, Program Officer for Africa, at [email protected]. The project was administered by the Pacific Institute for Women's Health (, an international NGO based in Los Angeles.

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Global (Sexwise)

The Need

In some countries, even the most basic information concerning people's sexual well-being is rarely discussed or disseminated.

Program Activities

Through Sexwise, the BBC World Service (BBC) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) have been working together in different regions of the world to speak to people in their own languages about sexual health and reproductive rights.

Sexwise aims to:

  • Improve people's knowledge and understanding of their bodies and emotions.
  • Increase discussion of specific sexual and social concerns among individuals and communities.
  • Raise awareness about safer sex and sexually transmitted infections such as HIV/AIDS.
  • Respond to people's anxieties about sexual health.
  • Assist people to make more informed choices about their sexuality.
  • Dispel myths about sex and sexuality.

Program Results

Sexwise began as a pilot project in 1996 when radio programs were broadcast in eight languages throughout South Asia; about 75,000 listeners wrote in requesting more information and copies of the Sexwise book. The next series of broadcasts took place in 1999, when the BBC broadcast Sexwise in ten languages throughout Europe and Eurasia and distributed more than 185,000 books with a focus on youth issues. Most recently, Sexwise was broadcast globally from June to December 2000 in eleven languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, Hausa, Indonesian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swahili, and Vietnamese. The programs reached more than 60 million listeners in Africa, the Arab world, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and China.

ICT Technologies

Sexwise consists of a website, a book, and radio programs from the BBC and publicity provided by national family planning associations (FPAs). The BBC has developed, researched and recorded each radio series in the different countries, to be edited and broadcast from London. Listeners hear the series in their own language. In collaboration with IPPF and the FPAs, the BBC has written and translated an accompanying book, and commissioned its design and print along with the publicity poster. The BBC has also commissioned the creation and design of the Sexwise website.

Following the broadcast radio programs, the FPAs provide advice and services to those people who want more support about particular issues. They also use the cassettes of the programs and the book in health centers, clinics, schools, and other venues where they work.

The Sexwise book accompanies each series and provides information in addition to the radio series. In participating countries, the FPAs publish and distribute the book in their own countries. The Sexwise website offers an accessible way of learning about physical and emotional sexual journeys through the Sexwise guide, audio clips, news, and links. National FPAs also are responsible for extending the reach and impact of the Sexwise program beyond the original BBC broadcasts. They are working to:

  • Encourage popular local radio stations to rebroadcast the radio series and report on sexual, reproductive, and rights issues raised by the programs.
  • Have other NGOs play cassettes of the program in health centers, clinics, and schools.
  • Obtain more funding so they can distribute the Sexwise book to young people and other special audiences.

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Heidi Marriott, IPPF Youth Program Coordinator
Telephone: 44-20-7487 7828; Fax: 44-20-7487 7969; Email: [email protected]; Website:

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Global (Staying Alive)

The Need

To deliver HIV-prevention education to as many youth as possible.

Program Activities

Staying Alive is a partnership between MTV Networks International, YouthNet (spearheaded by Family Health International), and the Kaiser Family Foundation. Additional partners include USAID, UNAIDS, the World Bank, and other organizations. Staying Alive informs young people about the HIV virus, promotes safe lifestyle choices, provides information about local organizations, and mobilizes youth to overcome the stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV/AIDS and to fight for an end to the spread of HIV/AIDS. Youthnet in partnership with Music Television (MTV) developed a project with three objectives to promote favorable HIV-prevention messages, to elevate the level of personal concern about HIV/AIDS including concerns about the damaging impact of HIV related stigma and discrimination, and to empower young people to take concrete action for themselves and their communities. The six-month program developed four and a half hours of TV programming, and then extended the reach of that programming beyond MTV to other television stations, radio partnerships, the Internet, live audiences at taped concerts, and local community events.

The series highlights the lives of young people from around the world infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.

Lessons Learned From the 2002 Campaign

  • For a global audience, in-depth programming appears to work best.
  • More comprehensive prevention messages may be more effective worldwide.
  • A global campaign can reach substantial audiences at risk.
  • Multiple formats were successful but required more time than expected.
  • Multiple partnerships added value as well as challenges.
  • Involving world leaders expands the reach of a global program.
  • A clear consent process for participants in media campaigns is important.
  • Partnerships with radio broadcasting can extend the campaign.
  • Local partnerships could be expanded.
  • More innovative efforts are needed to get youth involved.

The Staying Alive website ( has concerts and videos of the original programs.

For more information, please contact [email protected].

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