Protecting the Sexual Health of Young South Africans: Midline Results from the Impact Evaluation of a Sexuality and HIV Prevention Education Activity


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Author(s): MEASURE Evaluation

Year: 2018

Protecting the Sexual Health of Young South Africans: Midline Results from the Impact Evaluation of a Sexuality and HIV Prevention Education Activity Abstract:

In 2015, the South Africa Department of Basic Education (DBE), with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), invested in developing and piloting scripted lesson plans (SLPs) to increase the rigor and uniformity of a Life Orientation (LO) curriculum for learners. The Education Development Center began to pilot the SLPs in the 2016 school year. With support from USAID and in partnership with the DBE, MEASURE Evaluation is conducting an impact evaluation of the activity before it is rolled out nationally. The evaluation examines the effect of the SLPs on herpes simplex virus 2 incidence, and the change in prevalence of pregnancy among a cohort of Grade-8 female learners as they progress to Grade 10. The evaluation also examines whether the activity is related to the secondary outcomes of school retention, knowledge, attitudes, and risk behaviors of female and male learners in Grades 8, 9, and 10. The study employs a two-arm, stratified, cluster design with quantitative data collection at baseline, midline, and end line. Quantitative data are being collected from five education districts in Mpumalanga (MP) and KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). The evaluation also had a qualitative component at midline, examining the perceptions and acceptance of and comfort with the curriculum materials and supportive activities by different stakeholders, and identifying barriers and facilitators to implementation of the activity. Data from in-depth interviews and focus group discussions were collected from three education districts in MP and KZN.

This brief presents the quantitative midline results from 4,123 Grade-9 female learners and 3,988 Grade-9 male learners enrolled in 105 study schools in the third quarter of the 2017 school year. It presents qualitative results from 36 Grade-10 female and 36 Grade-10 male learners enrolled in six study schools (one intervention and one matched control school in MP and two intervention and two matched control schools in KZN) in the first quarter of the 2018 school year, plus interviews with five LO teachers and focus group discussions with eleven groups of parents.

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