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MARCH Outcome Evaluation

II. DESCRIPTION OF THE MARCH INTERVENTION PROJECT

MARCH (Modelling and Reinforcement to Combat HIV/AIDS) is a behaviour change communication project that promotes preventive behaviours against HIV/AIDS. The project was implemented in three rural Woredas (districts) of West Hararghe and the former Woreda 15 of Addis Ababa, the Capital City. An estimated total of 82, 768 and 97, 173 people reside in Woreda 15 (Addis Ababa) and in the three Woredas of West Hararghe, respectively. The intervention targeted both males and females in the age group 15-49. The approach used was a peer education strategy, where by peer educators were selected from their respective communities, took trainings regarding issues related to HIV/AIDS to raise awareness through dialogues and facilitate a group discussion among their peers. These activities were supplemented by a radio drama (known as Yeken Kegenet) and community drama series and role model stories aired at the two areas. The peer discussions were systematically guided by the listening and discussion guide developed for the purpose.

The objectives of the MARCH project were to:

Increase the exposure of the target population to accurate information concerning positive outcomes of behaviour change

Increase the perceived relevance of HIV/AIDS related behaviour change and information

Promote healthy practices and reduce risky behaviours that increase the risk of HIV infection

Promote positive and non-stigmatizing environments for PLWHA and affected families

MARCH is both a project and a strategy. Two interlinked but separate activities characterize the strategy. The "modelling" aspect, based on sound theory and extensive qualitative study, makes use of a radio serial drama that employs three basic characters: a positive character that the audience can take him/her as a model, learn from his strength of how he/she wins and overcomes the hurdles of life; a negative character from whom listeners can learn to avoid risk behaviour; the third character is in between, a person who can make mistakes from time to time but learns from his/her mistakes and in the process transforms himself/herself to a rational human personality. The long entertaining radio serial drama thus educates the listeners by capturing their attention and interest on the process of which they change gradually modelling the positive character.

Addis Ababa and West Hararghe

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