Life Skills and HIV Education Curricula in Africa: Methods and Evaluations

Programme Reports & Evaluations
United States Agency for International Development, USAID
80 p.

Life Skills and HIV Education Curricula in Africa: Methods and Evaluations is a study commissioned by the basic education team of the U.S Agency for International Development Africa Bureau's Office of Sustainable Development (USAID/AFR/SD) in 2003. Today, most of the HIV/AIDS prevention intervention in sub-Saharan Africa focused on disseminating information and discouraging risky sexual practices. Generally, such campaigns merely improve young people's knowledge about HIV/AIDS; they seldom strengthen attitudes and intentions favouring HIV/AIDS prevention, let alone lead to risk-reducing behaviour. In contrast are innovative interventions such as skills-bases health education for HIV prevention, referred to here as Life Skills programs. These are designed to: reinforce adolescents' personal risk perception, self-esteem, and self-efficacy; provide them with skills in such areas as assertiveness, communication, and decision-making, as well as coping with peer pressure and emotions; and install compassion and anti discrimination. These skills enable young people to translate information about HIV/AIDS into protective behaviours. The purpose of this study is to compile lessons learned from Life Skills programs in sub-Saharan Africa by renewing evaluation reports. However, since few such programs have been evaluated, a theoretical analysis was also made of a sample of curricula used in French-speaking Africa.

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