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U-DECIDE (Live by choice not by Chance)

Innovations to increase family planning and SRHR services uptake by youth aged 12-25 years in Nakivale refugee settlement.

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What specific problem(s) are you trying to address?

Nakivale Refuge settlement is one of the largest settlements with more than 146,000 people (UNHRC, 2016).
A third of this population is aged 10 –24 and this age of growth is characterized by major physical and emotional changes that make young people vulnerable to many health and social problems. The youth in the Settlement and surrounding communities lack appropriate SRHR information and knowledge to enable them make informed health choices in their lives. This has resulted to increased early child and forced marriages (16.6 median age for sex debut and 28 percent of births occur to mothers below 20 years) compared to 12 percent among those aged 35 years and above, unsafe abortions and high HIV prevalence rates in this refugee settlement.

What are some of your unanswered questions about the problem(s) you are working to address?

According to Isingiro District Local Government report 2016, 6/10 of the people that test positive for STI’s are youth of 13-25 year, contributing to a high HIV prevalence rate of 8% which is higher than the national prevalence rate at 6.3%. The high rates of commercial sex activities among adolescents and youth in the refugee settlement have contributed to 18% of the adolescents and youth having unintended pregnancies causing high unsafe abortions (21%) and child headed families.

Explain Your Idea

This project is going to be a youth centered but with a multi-stake holder approach that will involve primary and secondary school teachers and administrators, Nakivale Refugee Settlement commandants, local and religious leaders as well as cultural leaders by equipping them with knowledge of and access to adolescents and youth appropriate SRHR information and knowledge such that they can sustainably pass on the information to the adolescents and youth in the refugee camp and surrounding communities.

The project will create a platform for youth to share their SRHR experiences which will break the barriers in accessing sexual and reproduction health education and services through giving them information, knowledge, confidence and agency to assert their preferences and needs.

Crafting of this project involved district youth leaders, youth leaders from the refugee camp and surrounding communities who worked with us in identifying comprehensive SRHR challenges faced by adolescent and youth in the refugee settlement and neighboring communities. These have committed to support this initiative through mobilizing youths in their communities.

Name the three most important ways that your idea will address your identified problem(s).

Community Inter- Generational Dialogues: These are platforms that will give the youth space to share their SRHR challenges with the different stakeholders in their communities. It’s meant to help decision makers incorporate adolescents health concerns in their programming.

Community Health Campaigns: These are field outreach activities in collaboration with SRHR service providers to bring health services like family planning and contraceptives, HIV testing to accelerate uptake of these services by youth in the refugee settlement.
Training of peer educators: Youth representatives will be trained and equipped with Comprehensive SRHR knowledge, information and skills to reach out to fellow youth in the settlement and neighboring communitys

How is your idea unique?

Our youth centered with a multi-stakeholder approach is unique in a way that it will bring both youth and other stakeholders like schools’ teachers and administrators, parents, political and religious leaders, civil society organizations, heads of different health facilities and other players in the SRHR service delivery system to make adolescents sexual reproductive health and rights a priority during planning and implementation of the different health programs.

The training of peer service providers will increase awareness, knowledge and skill regarding adolescents and youth SRHR which will enable them to make informed SRHR choices.

The peer service providers and other stakeholders like school teachers and administrators, local and religious and health facility heads will facilitate our sustainability model for this project. These will be SRHR agents in this refugee settlement and the surrounding communities after the project period.

What are some outstanding concerns or questions that you have regarding your idea?

Much as interventions in the health service delivery systems in Nakivale refugee settlement has been put in place. Adolescents’ health has not been given priority. It should be noted that adolescent and youth SRHR is also not given attention in schools and yet parent/guardians fear to talk about Sexual reproductive health issues with their children. This situation has continued to make adolescents and youth to face multiple barriers in accessing sexual reproductive health education and services.

Who are your end users?

The end users of this project are youth between 12-25 years from Nakivale Refugee Settlement and surrounding communities. The project will introduce an inclusive mechanism that will make the entire community stakeholders appreciate the need to improve the plight of adolescents SRHR services.

Where will your idea be implemented?

  • Uganda

What is the primary type of emergency setting where your innovation would operate?

  • Armed conflict
  • Prolonged displacement

Tell us more about the emergency setting that you intend to implement in

The conflicts in the great lakes region have resulted into Nakival Refugee Settlement having a large number of refugees from Burundi, DRC Congo, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan and Southern Sudan present populations whose 1/3 being adolescents and youth aged 12-25 (UNHCR 2016). Much as interventions in the health service delivery systems has been put in place, Adolescents’ health has not been given priority which has affected the quality of their health outcome.

What is your organization's name?

Real Agency for Community Development (RACD)

Tell us more about you.

Registered in June 2012 as a local NGO (No.9246), Real agency for community Development (RACD) is a youth led and serving NGO that implements adolescent’s health and development projects in Uganda through community interventions.
RACD seeks to improve the quality of life among the youth and the entire community through designing solutions and approaches to respond the existing social economic challenges at community levels through building synergies with different stakeholders.
This creates a well informed and safe young generation that can champion social economic Transformation in their communities through making Right choices in life.

Organizational Characteristics

  • Youth-led organization

What is the current scale of your proposed innovation?

  • National - expansive reach within 1 country

Experience in Implementation Country(ies)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

Expertise in Sector

  • Yes, for more than a year.

Organization Location

Block 1,Rwebikoona United Traders Building
Second Floor, Room 4C,
PO Box 575,Mbarara

What is your organizational status?

  • Registered non-profit, charity, NGO, or community-based organization.

What is the maturity of your innovation?

  • Roll-out/Ready to Scale: Completed a pilot and am ready / in process of expanding.



How has your idea changed based on feedback?

During the feedback phase, > 70% of the respondents identified poverty as the leading cause of HIV/AIDS and other STDs among youth girls and women within the intervention communities. RACD will incorporate the livelihood component in the project by corroborating with Integrated Community Development Initiative. This will train and equip the beneficiaries with vocational and entrepreneurship knowledge and skills to start small income generating activities to enable them live a productive life and shun away from commercial sex activities.
Through focus group discussions, 80% of the adolescents and youth showed need for a more confidential mode of communication with health service providers. we shall develop social media platforms like Facebook, twitter, a website for information sharing and install a toll free telephone line and USSD codes where anyone with SRHR and family planning concern can call / text for the support, linkage and report cases of gender based violence for follow up

Who will implement this idea?

This idea will be implemented by several partners; Real Agency for Community Development (RACD) will take the leading role in mobilization and implementation of the project activities. Other Partners like Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU) and AIDS Information Centre (AIC) will provide SRHR and family planning services, Integrated Community Development Initiative (ICODI) will train the beneficiaries in vocational and entrepreneurship, Isingiro District Local Government will play a big role in mobilization and coordination of the beneficiaries. 12 permanent staff and 6 volunteers will be supporting this idea, 8 of the permanent staff stay near the refugee settlement. 12 permanent staff will dedicate 100% of their effort while 6 volunteers will dedicate 50% of their time to this project.

Using a human-centered design approach, you may uncover insights that lead to small or foundational changes to your organization’s existing strategy or processes in order to unlock the potential of your idea. How would your organization go about making such changes?

Real Agency for Community Development (RACD) uses a human-centered design approach both in program/project design and implemntation. It allows RACD staff and volunteers to sit with the end users in drafting the ideas/solutions to a problem that is facing their communities and later chose the best idea/solution that can help in solving the problem. RACD staff are open to learning from others a situation that has made the organization to make faster collaborations between the implementing partners and community beneficiaries. RACD used the same approach to design this project by involving some of the refugee adolescents, youth girls and women as well as refugee settlement leaders, we also worked together with other SRHR service providers and other partners in designing this project idea.

What challenges do your end-users face? (1) What is the biggest challenge that your end-users face on a day-to-day, individual level? (2) What is the biggest systems-level challenge that affects your end-users?

The end users of this project have two major challenges they face on a day-to-day basis on an individual level. These include; (1) Poverty where many adolescents, youth girls and women have actively been engaging them selves in commercial sex activities in order to earn some little money for survival and this practice has accelerated the spread of HIV and other STIs, accelerated unintended pregnancies and other challenges, (2) There is lack of and access to sexual reproductive health and rights and family planning information and services among adolescents, youth girls and women. SRHR and family planning has not been given attention in the Refugee Settlement and surrounding communities both at homes/ communities or in schools and parents fear to talk to their children about SRHR issues.

Tell us about your vision for this project: (1) share one sentence about the impact you would like to see from this project in five years and (2) what is the biggest question you need to answer to get there?

The vision for this project is to groom a healthy young generation through mindset transformation among Nakivale refugee settlement and surrounding community's well empowered with information and services about SRHR and family planning for sustainable social economic transformation in their communities.

What is it that most attracted you to Amplify instead of a more traditional funding model?

RACD’s approach in designing and implementing its programs and projects is based on using human-centered design. Amplify approach aligns perfectly with our ways of doing work in such a way that ,before the program is developed and started, beneficiaries are involved, given chance to shape the idea and develop it with us. It gave us choice and hope that we had found likeminded experienced partner that emphasizes human centered approach at all the time.

Do you intend to implement your Amplify idea in refugee camps / temporary settlements?

  • We aim to implement our Amplify idea in a refugee camp / temporary settlement.

How long have you and your colleagues been working on this idea together?

  • Between 6 months and 1 year

How many of your organizations’s paid, full-time staff are currently based in the location where the beneficiaries of your proposed idea live?

  • Between 5-10 paid, full-time staff

Is your organization registered in the country you intend to implement your idea in?

  • We are registered in all countries where we plan to implement.

My organization's operational budget for 2016 was:

  • Between $50,000 and $100,000 USD

What do you need the most support with for your innovation?

  • Communications/Marketing/Graphic Design


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Hi Chris and team,

An important reminder, Refinement Phase closes this Thursday, October 26 at 11:30pm PST.

We can only consider complete submissions, so please make sure that you have reviewed the Feedback and Refinement Phase Checklists and answered all of the questions on the platform. Note that we added one more multiple choice question to the end of the form.

If you're having trouble figuring out how to edit your idea, please refer to this guidance:

Best of luck!

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