Male engagement and gender transformative approaches are meant to address men as users of family planning methods, partners, service providers, influencers and decision makers. Men may be seen as a barrier, or they can be seen as a support to increase the use of modern contraception, improved birth spacing, and decreased/healthier family size. We include interventions that promote dialogue amongst couples and religious leaders, stimulate conversations about the negative impacts of rigid gender roles, and actively address gender inequalities during project design and implementation.
Learn more about our activities below:
Male Segmentation in Niger
The intervention in Niger, led by Camber Collective, is centered on an analysis of male FP demand, including a statistical segmentation analysis. Quantitative research, analysis and key informant discussions will identify the men who are willing to change their FP behaviors, and identify key activities required to facilitate their behavior change. Ideally this would complement activities that were already identified to facilitate the behavior change of target segments of women. Camber Collective and PSI/Niger will then work with RISE consortium members to design 1-2 specific interventions, and these will be trialed over an estimated period of 3 months with direct support from PSI/Niger.
Innovation Lab in Burkina Faso
Research shows that significant socio-cultural and structural barriers to creating demand for FP persist. Cultural norms value high fertility, and gender equity issues prevent many women from making decisions regarding their own health and fertility. Therefore, innovative approaches are needed to effectively engage men. The overall objective of this work is to 1) increase the capacity of local FP implementers to use Human Centered Design (HCD) in designing quality FP programs targeting men, and 2) connect them with non-traditional actors who might provide new perspectives that strengthen male engagement interventions.
Overall, the project follows a three-phase process to identify, prototype, and pilot new and innovative interventions:
- Innovation Lab phase:A four-day participative workshop (“Innovation Lab”) took place in Ouagadougou. Using HCD principles of inspiration and ideation and with the input from non-traditional participants (e.g., entrepreneurs, musicians, comedians) five teams identified interventions to increase male engagement in FP. The Innovation Lab ended with three interventions being selected for the prototyping phase.
- Prototyping phase: The NGOs working on the selected interventions will receive on-the ground support from Transform/PHARE to develop a prototype and further test and refine their interventions. The prototyping phase ends with the selection of 1-2 interventions being selected for a pilot.
Pilot phase: During a three-month period, the selected NGOs receive support from Transform/PHARE to pilot their interventions.
Engagement of Religious Leaders in Niger Using Human-Centered Design
Drawing from different research methodologies, the team sought to uncover youth and religious leaders’ perspectives, and knowledge, on reproductive health services and products in several villages in the Zinder region of Niger. While there were religious leaders who supported birth spacing, they perceived a significant amount of risk in publicly supporting family planning on their own. Furthermore, both religious leaders and youth shared a desire to improve their knowledge and ability to dispel myths about reproductive health in a public forum so that the larger community could benefit from candid discussions. Our research showed that the primary determining factor to contraceptive uptake among married women in Zinder was support from their husband. Yet, despite men being the main-decisions makers on contraceptive use, and essentially every household decision, we found that men lacked sufficient knowledge on the financial implications of raising children to inform their choices. Building on the design research findings, the team designed 10 low-fidelity prototypes that were subsequently rapidly field-tested and iterated with 41 religious leaders, 26 youth, and 5 healthcare workers. All materials were designed for non-literate populations. A scorecard methodology was used to evaluate the final three solutions which will be implemented during a six-month pilot program, called Sarari (meaning spacing in Hausa):
- Leaders Engagés: a collective of religious leaders who serve as agents of change by openly advocating (either through sermons, teaching at the Koranic school, or through private consultations) on the importance of birth spacing for maternal and infant health, and overall family well-being.
- Séminaire des Leaders: a series of debates between religious and youth leaders on the topic of birth spacing.
- Dede Ruwa Dede Tsaki (Just the right amount of water for the flour): a budgeting activity and discussion tools based on Koranic verses to encourage participants to seek a balance between their financial resources and desired family size.
Promoting Male Engagement and Partners’ Dialogue in Côte d’Ivoire Using Human-Centered Design
This initiative will provide insights into the young male perceptions on contraception as well as their attitudes, beliefs, and barriers to engaging with their partners around family planning. The project will prototype ways to increase debate and interest on male involvement in contraception. The objective is to positively influence young male willingness and ability to communicate on the use of contraception in family planning with their partners and peers.