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Reducing Neonatal Mortality Rate and Improving Maternal Health through Reduction of FGM/C Practice in Afar pastoral.

ACISDA have a plan to scale up its project in order to unlocking the Afar pastoral women and girls sexual reproductive health challenge .


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

In the northeastern Ethiopian region of Afar, more than 91 percent of women undergo one of the most severe forms of genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C. FGM has serious implications for the sexual and reproductive health of girls and women. Therefore, infbulated women and girls suffering by immediate short term and long term health implication. Complications may occur in all types of FGM, but are most frequent with infibulation. Infibulation, or type III FGM, may cause complete vaginal obstruction resulting in the accumulation of menstrual flow in the vagina and uterus. Women who have undergone infibulation are more likely to suffer from prolonged and obstructed labor, sometimes resulting in foetal death and obstetric fistula.

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

In our current project, some of our target beneficiaries are still practicing FGM type 1 which is shifted from type 3 to type 1 locally known as ‘Sunna’. So a few people going to neighboring Woredas/District to do the 'Sunna' type in a very secrete way. Therefore, working with religious leaders, Mosque Imam or 'Kadi' are very essential to stop any type of FGM/C practice in the Afar pastoral. Since, the majority peoples are believes that FGM/C is one of Muslim requirement.

Explain Your Idea

ACISDA have an idea to scale upping its current project to zone four Awera and Ewa Woreda/District of Afar National Regional State. Therefore, the following major activities and objective are proposed: 1).Enhance the awareness of target project beneficiaries group through social mobilization training, workshops, public debates, round table discussions on FGM point of views; facilitate and organize Afar politician & parliamentary taking out publicity against FGM practice, conduct award ceremony program for uncircumcised or don not FGM practiced girls & their families, facilitate and organize Afar political leaders to be active response and engagement on FGM eradication .2). FGM is focus of community dialogue in each Kebele/village and cluster level; establish different community dialogue groups based on contextual developed session guideline which are pregnant mother group /PMG/, out of school youth group /OSYG/ in school youth group /ISYG/ or Anti-FGM school clubs, general community group /GCG/ then facilitate and organize the community dialogue as per the developed session guideline 3). Strengthen community social structures to be responsive FGM issues; working very closely with religious leaders, clan leader, and influential community members, Youth leaders locally known us Fiemat- Aba and more engagement with kadi and Imame of Mosque. In addition, we will work considering to do no harm strategical principle. (See attached document for additional details and methodology

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

A) Enhance the awareness of target group of project beneficiaries through social mobilization, awareness raising activities; such that police, judiciaries, women affair, and justice official training, public debate on FGM, round table discussion with honorable, respectful and acceptable persons. Then broadcast by Afar TV to reach wider community. B) Facilitate and organize government and community social structures that to be responsive for FGM issues and to make an active role in the engagement of FGM eradication; C) Advocate and promote our best lessons and disseminate knowledge and skills of FGM to the wider people through social media and used Afar TV program without free air time. ACISDA have an experience for these.

How is your idea unique?

ACISDA has been tested and achieved its project idea in ongoing phase out project at five Woreda of zone five in Afar region. Our Initiative is different than other because, currently we are working in a very remote area with poor human facilities and a very hot climatic condition. Also the proposed idea will implement one of the very hottest, hard to reach and inaccessible areas of Afar region.Thus, most organization wants to work in to consideration of accessibility of human facilities. The women and girls in this region highly suffering by FGM/C health implication than the other society in the world. Accordingly, our idea is unique that to implement with indigenous, minority, and marginalized Afar pastoral people. In addition, the existing project methodology, implementation approach, strategy and best lessens will support my idea to be real in order to unlocking the new Woreda/District pastoral women sexual reproductive health challenges.

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

Working to reduction of FGM practice in Afar is priority issues than any the other development sector. Because, the majority girls and Women are die by the FGM related health consequences. Therefore, in this proposed idea the Afar pastoral women and girls sexual reproductive health right will be addressed. The Neonatal Mortality Rate will be reduced and maternal health will be improved in Awera and Ewa Woreda of the Afar region through scale upping our ideas to the other area of the region. .

Who are your end users?

In the proposed scale upping idea, change of agents are in school youth or Anti-FGM school clubs, out of school youth group, general community group and pregnant mothers groups. In general, a total of 15,240 childbearing mothers age between will be addressed at the end of the project as direct beneficiaries and preventing a genital mutilation and its harmful consequences for 2,400 newborn girls in Ewa and Awera Woreda of Afar regional state, Ethiopia. In addition, a total of 36,874 women and girls of Awera and Ewa Woreda of Afar region will be benefited as indirectly from the proposed project.

Where will your idea be implemented?

  • Ethiopia

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

  • Extreme drought
  • Community at risk of disaster

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

The Afar pastoral people are highly affected by the recurrent drought. The Afar people are one of most marginalized and hard to reach Ethiopian society. The recurrent drought is extremely affecting the women and girls life very exceptional causes in Afar region. Since, women are highly engaged to feed their children during the drought situation. Particularly women’s are disproportionately affected by the drought variability, the work load increased, and they have fewer options to find other ways

What is your organization's name?

Afar Community Initiative Sustainable Development Assocoation (ACISDA)

Tell us more about you.

ACISDA is legally certified by Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia as Ethiopian residence charity in registration number 2290 from Civil Society Agency in Proclamation number 621/2009. Currently, ACISDA is undertaking ongoing phase-out project which is ''Reduce Neonatal Mortality Rate and Improving Maternal Health through Reduction of FGM project’’ with a joint collaboration of Medicine Du Monde France at 5 Woreda/District of Afar regional state. In addition, working with Network Ethiopian Women Association on Reproductive Maternal Neonatal Health Improvement project. Moreover, ACISDA has implemented several pastoral development projects in different thematic areas with various donors in the Afar National Regional State, Ethiopia.

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

Afar Community Initiative Sustainable Development Association (ACISDA) is working in Afar National Regional State based in Ethiopia. Its registered as Ethiopian residence charity.

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?

As per the OpenIDEO feedback ACISDA revised its initial proposed idea in a very clear manner in each questions of idea contribution. Accordingly, ACISDA answered all questions in detail way. In addition, own experience map and storytelling will be incorporated in the idea. So, based on the feedback ACISDA revised its scale upping idea through added anew systematic approach and strategy. Since, our proposed idea going to be real and responsive for sexual and reproductive health of the Afar pastoral, minority, and marginalized women and girls. As a result, our existing implementation approaches were developed and enhanced based on the feedback of OpenIDEO community. For example, comments, suggestion, and feedback from the OpenIDEO team and community included in the comment section in this application.

Who will implement this idea?

ACISDA will recruit 1 project coordinator, 1 project officer, 2 midwifes, 1 driver, 1 finance & administration, 1 cleaner, 2 security guards and 1 cashier.The project will manage and leading by the project coordinator with a close assistance of project officer.The two midwifes that will work in Awera and Ewa Woreda/Districts in order to mobilize, facilitate, coaching, & provide FGM counselling for victims. The cleaner, security officer, driver, and finance & admin working as supportive staffs of the proposed project. In general, ACISDA will recruit a total of 10 full time employees for this proposed project in order to address the sexual and reproductive health challenge of the Afar pastoral women and girls. Moreover, will work with regional and Woreda project partners.

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?

ACISDA utilized team based participatory management decision making principles to implementing its projects. In addition, ACISDA promotes and advocate forward accountability which means participatory community reflection review process. ACISDA conducting beneficiaries reflection review process in each projects from the very beginning up-to end of project. ACISDA have an experience on joint planing, implementation, monitoring & evaluation of the project with its grass root level implementing partners and project stakeholders. With this in mind, ACISDA conducted participatory community reflection review on its proposed project idea. In addition, our organization is adopted and practicing participatory learning implementation approach and team based decision making methodologies.

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?

Our end users practicing GFM after birth of the new born baby. As a result, the FM consequence in new born babe very complicated and may die after birth. The other biggest challenge Women who have undergone infibulation are more likely to suffer from prolonged and obstructed labour, sometimes resulting in foetal death and obstetric fistula. The infants of mothers who have undergone more extensive forms of FGM are at an increased risk of dying at birth. Moreover, our end user lives in a very remote, poor human facility, hottest climatic and extreme drought condition. The biggest system-level of our challenges is scale upping our tested idea to enhanced the awareness of the target community in several awareness raising activities, utilizing appropriate systematic approach and methodology.

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?

IMPACT: By 2023, a total of 2,400 newborn daughters protected from FGM/C and 15,240 childbearing mothers maternity health will be improved through several awareness raising activities at Ewa and Awera Woreda. QUESTION: How do we ensure 2,400 newborn daughters are protected from FGM/C and how do ACISDA verify the 15,240 mother’s maternity health improvement at the end of 2023?

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

I am very exited that collaborate with others to develop and enhance proposed ideas. Therefore, if you have an expert & experienced in your profession, your idea is mentor and supported by other experts around the world in different dimensional prospective. Like wise, i have an opportunity to make brainstorm my idea going to be strong and competent. Moreover, all stage and contribution phases of Amplify will assist and enhance my idea to think in various dimensional aspects.

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

  • We aim to implement our Amplify idea in support of displaced populations, but not in a refugee camp / temporary settlement.

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

  • More than 2 years

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 $100,000 and $500,000 USD


Join the conversation:

Photo of Beccah Bartlett

Hi ACISDA AFAR  thanks for adding me as a Team Member. I've had a look at your application and your website. I am impressed by the work the Sokoro Health Project is achieving and that you are focused on remote areas and hard to reach communities. Well done!

I have a question/suggestion for this project in particular that I think might help refine your message. I should note that whilst I am reasonably knowledgeable about FGC I am not an expert so please feel free to ignore these comments if you don't seem them as relevant or helpful.

In your "Explain your Idea" section it is not clear on exactly what the idea is. You explain the background to the problem and that you are ready for scale up but I am unsure what it is that you are trying to scale up. From the rest of the application I think it's "1). Enhance the target people awarness through several awarness raising workshop, public debates, trainings . 2). FGM is focus of community dialogue in each Kebele/village level. Establish different groups in several segments of society. 3). Working very closely with religouse leaders, clan leader, and influental." Is this the case? If so, I would insert that into the ideas section.

I think it's great you are working with religious leaders on this issue and with women who are pregnant as prevention is key.
I wish you the best in your work and in this application, Beccah

Photo of Ashley Tillman

Beccah Bartlett Great to see your collaboration and support. ACISDA AFAR  I look forward to your answers and learning more!


Thank you very much! your technical assistance & support is valuable in order to EndFGM in Afar pastoral people.
''Stop FGM to see healthy women & girls''
''Make collaboration to EndFGM''
''Stand with ACISDA against to Eliminate FGM''
''To ensure sexual and reproductive health right, provide special emphasis for minority & indigenous society''
''All together have a power to stop FGM''


Of course, you are right. I accept that to revised some part of the questions. Once, again I would like to thank your positive & productive comments. However, i haven't the chance to make some revision before the deadline. Since, I am working one of the most remote area with poor internet access and lack of infrastructure. Therefore, it would be better to give special criteria that ideas comes from marginalized, hard to reach, minority and indigenous people. Because, access for internet is not equal for all of us. Anyhow, thank you very much for your productive comments.

Photo of Beccah Bartlett

I'm sorry I missed this reply somehow ACISDA AFAR . I see you've been doing a lot of editing. You're doing great! Good luck :)


Hi Beccah,

Thank you so much for your fruitful and tremendous comments during the idea contribution stage. Since, based on your suggestion and feedback we revised its scale upping project in refinement stage.

Really, thank you so much for your best wish. Good luck!

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