KNOW YOURSELF

Adolescent Reproductive Health (ARH)

Program, Bangladesh

During 2001-04, Neill McKee was associate director for HIV/AIDS and adolescent health communication at Johns Hopkins University's Center for Communication Programs (CCP).  One of the main programs he conceived at the time was the development of an ARH communication toolkit, using entertainment education methods.
ARH Toolkit.jpg
Initially, a set of booklets was developed by Focus on Young Adults, a Pathfinder project funded by USAID. Irit Houvras of Pathfinder worked on these with Sanjeeda Islam of the Bangladesh Center for Communication Programs (BCCP) and  Noor Mohammad (JSI), Zareen Khair (USAID), and Quamrun Nahar (ICDDR,B). The work started in 1999 with the national needs assessment, followed by a number of other project assessments, then specific FAQ research to more directly inform the booklets. Pathfinder approached CCP for a video to accompany the booklets and Neill was asked to take the lead in its development and production, working with Irit and BCCP. The project continued under CCP's Health Communication Partnership (HCP) award from USAID. Neill worked closely with Sanjeeda Islam and her team, as well as Edson Whitney, Caroline Jacoby, and Shailaja Maru of CCP. 

UNICEF first bought in with the time of Nuzhat Shahzadi during 2003-04, then the Meena Coordinator in Kathmandu. Later, Shahzadi joined CCP during 2004-05 to work with Sanjeeda and BCCP & CCP's team to complete the toolkit, when Neill was posted to Moscow, Russia by CCP. UNICEF, Bangladesh's Representative Morten Giersing, keenly supported the ARH program. However, HCP ended and organizational priorities and funding changed, so the toolkit was under-utilized. It takes many years to foster changes, especially in an area as sensitive as teaching teenagers about sexual health and acceptable male-female relationships.

For Know Yourself, the trends in knowledge and attitudes were going in the right direction (see summary evaluation below) but with a time-limited "project approach" one can only expect modest changes. BCCP in Dhaka may have the original materials in Bangla. The English versions are available below and most are also downloadable from CCP's Compass website supported by USAID. They are a good example of a research-based approach to teaching adolescent and young adults about reproductive health in a culturally appropriate way.
Booklets for adolescents & Facilitators' Guides
ARH COMIC BOOKS WITH DISCUSSION GUIDES
1) Learning about wet dreams
Wizard of nightmares cover.jpg
2) Learning about breast development and menstruation
The circus girl cover.jpg
3) Learning about emotional changes and sexual attraction
Flower Boat cover.jpg
4) Learning to deal with peer pressure
Adventures of the scrience gang cover_edited.jpg
14.1.jpg

Pathways to Adolescent Friendly Society

Pathways pix.jpg
HCP theoretical model for adolescent reproductive health
Life skills
ARH kids.jpg