OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Naanum Enathu Ulagamum (Me and My World)

Siaap aims to improve adolescent knowledge, agency and access to SRHR and mental health services in a disaster prone urban slum in Chennai,

Photo of Swaminathan Krishna
1 1

Written by

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

Irrespective of national policies and international commitments, Adolescent Education Programme is banned in 12 states hence no sexual health education program operates in India (YCSSR, 2015). We observed with urban slum community, that adolescents experience SRHR problem but awareness is low and seeking care remains limited due to lack of information and counselling, low risk perception, embarrassment in seeking treatment, no family support, and poor quality of care. School dropout, child marriage, teenage and unintended pregnancy and substance misuse is common. This is further deepened by stigma due to caste, gender and slum-dwelling and prevailing feeling of inability to assert their rights and an environment that is far from enabling.

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

How to effectively shift attitude of the community towards sexuality, sexual relations and contraception. Rehabilitation of adolescents currently abusing substances (Marijuana, Inhalants) Co-operation of public health providers in the project area in implementation of adolescent friendly services and monitoring progress. How to make the public adolescent friendly clinics functional. We are still in the phase of developing the best content for the gender app and we haven’t pilot tested the app.

Explain Your Idea

The proposed project shall be carried out at three levels - that of adolescents, the community and the government services and systems available – aiming at three basic cross-cutting objectives, namely, Building Agency, Facilitating a Comprehensive Sexual Education Programme (by setting community based through adolescent friendly counselling centres) and establishing a sustainable enabling environment (through community perspective building, linking institutions, training community catalysts). Adolescents: Self confidence & body awareness, emotional well being, agency building, age related psychosocial concerns shall be addressed through Art Based Therapy, Access to services, information, education and counselling of SRHR and mental health through establishment of adolescent friendly counselling centres and workshops. Community: Strength based community perspective building with regard to SRHR and mental well being, recruiting and training a set of community catalysts who are volunteers from the community, sensitization shall be done through workshops and community catalysts who continue to sustain the platform for discussion on the areas of concern and its solutions. Linkages with institutions: Engaging with District Child Protection Unit for disaster preparedness relief, child protection and drug pedalling prevention, sensitizing service providers for adolescent friendly service delivery and accompanied referral for services.

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

• Arts Based Therapy shall be employed to build self -awareness and confidence to reduce self-stigma and build agency. • Having built agency, and equipped with knowledge and information through workshops and training, adolescents will be able to take informed decisions with regard to their SRH needs and preferences. • Community perspective building through engagement and training of community catalysts that sustain after project period to help establish an enabling environment and remain as an information resource pool. This is to ensure sexuality and SRH remain to be points of discussion in the community and the silence around it disappears. • The Gender App shall help foster gender equal perceptions and behaviours in the communit

How is your idea unique?

Our programme is unique because, It is a pilot comprehensive sexuality education for adolescents in the country It deepens agency of adolescents by strengthening their capabilities to understand and respond to the environment (both to opportunities and stressors). Art Based Therapy will be used to improve body awareness, confidence, gender equality, mental health and assertiveness. A scalable community based adolescent friendly counselling centre will be established to cater to the needs of the adolescents. Mental health concerns and substance abuse common among adolescents will also be addressed. A mobile based app will be deployed to promote gender equality. Our perspective building processes with parents and health service providers will generate enabling environment for adolescents. Community catalysts training and recognising their contributions will sustain the efforts after project period. Overall, the programme offers an integrated approach.

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

Establishing adolescent friendly counselling centers in the project area where availability of space is limited and renovation cost after disaster. It is a practical challenge to our resource mobilization strategy as we have limited funds. User’s preference on the mobile phone application, technical or expert knowledge for maintenance and development platforms Ethical consideration for adolescents below 18 years and the need for parental consent.

Who are your end users?

4500 adolescents in the age group of 10-19 years will be the main end users of the project. Of these, 80% will show improved agency, knowledge about sexual, reproductive and mental health, accessed information, counselling and care services for sexual and reproductive health and 20% overcome substance misuse. 9000 community members, 30 health care providers and 60 community catalysts will also be the end users to ensure enabling environment in the community. Of these, 80% will show favourable attitude towards sexuality, pregnancy and conceptions, community catalysts will share at least 3 volunteering experience and sustain the efforts after project period and 100% HCPs will deliver adolescent friendly care services.

Where will your idea be implemented?

  • India

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

  • Natural disaster
  • Community at risk of disaster

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

Gandhinagar is a low-income slum settlement in Chennai with more than 10000 house, largely thatched huts, located in low-lying marsh land of 1 They are migrants from districts or evicted from slums. All the houses were submerged during 2015 floods and uprooted during 2016 cyclone. It is an isolated area without development and post disaster relief efforts. Strong sense of insecurity prevails due to lack of disaster preparedness. Substance misuse among adolescents is a major concern.

What is your organization's name?

South India AIDS Action Programme (SIAAP)

Tell us more about you.

• Siaap is an NGO with a vision of “Human development through enabling social and gender justice”. We operate under the beliefs of trust, respect for person and perspective, transparency, accountability, empathy, confidentiality, enabling rights, ethics, and Work with lean and effective teams. We built capacities of 1,80,000 adolescents in the last 7 years and assessed services for adolescent services in the state. We have partnered with UNICEF, UNDP, NACO, EU, Ford Foundation, Hivos etc. With 3 decades of on-the-ground community engagement, deep local knowledge in HIV/AIDS related issues and understanding of marginalised and vulnerable communities, the team has experienced staff in the area of adolescent rights and financial management.

Organizational Characteristics

  • Women-led organization

What is the current scale of your proposed innovation?

  • Community - 1+ communities 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

Siaap is based at Chennai city in Tamil Nadu state of India. Siaap started its work in 1989 and registered as not for profit NGO under Trust Act of Government of Tamil Nadu in 1992.

What is your organizational status?

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

What is the maturity of your innovation?

  • Existing Prototype or Pilot: Tested a part of my solution with users and am iterating.

Website (Under Construction)

Attachments (1)

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Ashley Tillman

Hi Swaminathan Krishna great to have you in the Challenge, can you share a few more details about the specific program you'd like to implement?