Students Partnership Worldwide (SPW) Zambia recently began the third year of its School HIV/AIDS Education Program (SHEP) in conjunction with Zambia's Ministry of Education (MOE). SHEP is implemented by volunteer peer educators selected from a pool of applicants who have completed at least a secondary education and who may have completed tertiary level education. Thus, they are closer in age to students than most teachers, although they are not exactly same-age peers. After an intensive training, volunteer peer educators are placed in same-sex pairs at one of the SPW schools. Each placement school is paired with an extension school in which some program elements are implemented. Though this rapid appraisal found widespread belief that the program has an impact on knowledge and risk-taking behaviors of Zambian students, a rigorous impact evaluation is still needed to test this assertion. It is recommended that such an impact evaluation be conducted as well as a study of the program costs, and this information should be used to develop a plan for sustainable scale-up.
Family Health International, FHI
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