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

Re-positioning communication and reporting Sexual and Reproductive Health for female adolescents

Human resource, operational equipment like camera, lighting, microphones, tape recorders, offices and project facilities.

Photo of Mashaka
6 0

Written by

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

Recently, Tanzanian government through President John Magufuli announced a `clear stand' that teenage pregnant will strongly not permitted to continue with their studies. While this happening, the country has made a significant progress overall in primary school enrolment, but few girls especially in rural areas, fail to complete their secondary education because of early marriage and teenage pregnancy. They (teenagers) in this regards become vulnerable. In this case, I on behalf of Association of Tanzania Health Journalists (THJ) developed an idea to address the communication gap and challenges facing young girls on Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) between themselves (peers), teachers, parents/guardians and communities.

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

• Why communication skills left behind in empowering young girls on Sexual Reproductive Health? • Why journalists loose interest to make teenage pregnancy as an agenda setting? • To what extent relative policies i.e National Health Policy and laws addresses issues of SRH for female adolescent? • Why the country doesn’t have communication materials which engaging voices of teenagers on SRH, the production and its distribution to reach the targeted audience.

Explain Your Idea

The idea is based on engaging journalists/media to advocate and promote rights of young girls in regards to SRH and providing female adolescents with information, knowledge and skills in communicating with their teachers, parents/guardians and their peers. In doing so, media will re-positioning on reporting SRH and Most Vulnerable Children, particularly female adolescents. This idea came from a media survey conducted by members of THJ in the city of Dar es Salaam soon after the President’s announcement to prevent early and adolescent pregnancies, where by key respondents were in and out of school female adolescents. The issues related to poor communication were highly addressed.

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

1. Train journalists, Editors and Reporters 2. Producing communication materials on Sexual and Reproductive Health for female teenagers 3. Formulating in and out of school female teenagers’ clubs and distributing SRH materials to the clubs

How is your idea unique?

Most of the program on SRH for female teenagers in the country still based on effects of early pregnancies and factors contributing to it. My idea comes from survey which established the need to utilize communication skills in combating the causes to adolescent pregnancy. This approach (idea) is like the one applied by UNICEF in 1990s in some African countries includes Tanzania and increased openness to young girls sharing their sexual and reproductive health issues with their peers, parents/guardians, teachers and others. Advantages we have include journalists and mass communicators use most of their assignments to report health related issues. They will help to come up with concrete materials of communication skills in regards to SRH. In Tanzania no other organization is implementing the project of this kind.

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

Current, I lead journalists in Tanzania who are willingly and committed to report on health related issues. They work within the Association of Tanzania Health Journalists with support from the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elders and Children, World Health Organization and other health related CSOs like Tanzania Tobacco Control Forum (TTCF). The work they engaged now is on how tobacco causes health problems and cancer in particular.

Who are your end users?

The beneficiaries to this idea were in and out of school young girls. The idea aims to enable them strengthen and utilize proper communicate skills to overcome the causes of adolescent pregnancies at the early stages. However, the second target are journalists. They will be engage in accurate reporting on SRH to facilitate and strengthening communication skills to female adolescent and empower them to share basic concerns with their peers, teachers, parents/guardians and their respective communities. In Tanzania, the adolescent age range between 13 – 19 years which is the age group for the primary target to my idea to be reached in four regions, both rural and urban settings (with highly rates of early pregnancies).

Where will your idea be implemented?

  • Tanzania

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

  • Community at risk of disaster
  • Other

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

This idea is expected to be implemented mostly in rural settings which is affected by poor infrastructures, lack of information and communication on health facilities and services. However, we will also take parts of the urban settings especially those with high school drop outs and early pregnancies. The risks for may include poor public involvement and some restrictions from local government authorities.

What is your organization's name?

Association of Tanzania Health Journalists (THJ)

Tell us more about you.

This idea developed in a collaborative approach which engaged members of Association of Tanzania Health Journalists (THJ). So, THJ will be responsible in implementation of this idea. Myself, I’m a Chairperson of THJ based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania with an experience of over 10 years in journalism with Degree in Sociology, diploma in Journalism, diploma in Youth in Development Work under the Commonwealth Youth Program. Currently I’m pursuing my Masters in Mass Communication. THJ team has credible and experienced journalists on reporting health related issues. It was initially started as a group of journalists selected and participated on 2010’s media reporting and documenting health issues as per Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Organizational Characteristics

  • Locally/community-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

Kimara Ward, Ubungo Municipal, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

What is your organizational status?

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

What is the maturity of your innovation?

  • Early Stage Innovation: exploring my innovation, refining, researching, and gathering inspiration.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Ashley Tillman

Hi Mashaka, great to have you in the Challenge! Looking forward to learning more about your idea. Here's some tips on adding visual goodness to your idea: plus more on evolving your thought-starter:

Let me know if you have any questions about the process!

Photo of Mashaka

Thanks Ashley. In fact I was (just) starting to frame my idea and posted it unintentionally. So can you please help me how to remove and re-post when completed.

Photo of Ashley Tillman

Hi Mashaka, we actually encourage sharing your idea before it's fully done so you can get feedback. You can remove your Idea post by going into "Edit Contribution" and clicking "unpublish."

Also a friendly reminder to have your Idea finalized and submitted by September 17 at 11:30PM PT!

View all comments