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VOICE & CHOICE-SEXUAL REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AT THE LOCAL LEVEL

To enhance Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) to youth in Zimbabwe through Centres of Excellence for Gender in Local Government.

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Opportunity Areas – Select those that apply

  • mHealth
  • Data

What specific problem(s) are you trying to address? (300 character limit)

Lack of access to SRHR services and information, inadequate and relevant service delivery. young women and men face many SRH challenges such as high rates of unplanned pregnancies, early child bearing, child marriages and transmission of STIs and HIV. HIV prevalence is 15% among youths aged 15-24

What are some of your unanswered questions about the problem(s) you are working to address? (500 character limit)

How do we get the services and information on SRHR accessible to youth particularly through the use of social media? How do we promote youth participation in decision-making processes relating to sexual and reproductive health? What support can be given to youth by local government visa-vis their SRH concerns? What structures can we use to ensure that the concerns of youth in relation to their SRH needs are given attention?

Who are your end users? (1000 character limit)

This project is targeting to work with 3000 youth (at least half young women) in 10 provinces in Zimbabwe. These will come from the 68 Centres of Excellence for Gender in Local Government local governments (31 urban and 37 rural) that the organization is currently working with. The project will work with Junior councillors in these local authorities who will push for health service delivery in council policy for youths as well as lobby and advocate for services. Knowledge hubs and centres will be created at each council's health centre for easy information dissemination on SRH as well as service provision as all the 68 councils have already established health centres. Working with these youths will present a chance to share experiences online via social media (Facebook,WhatsApp,Twitter). These tools will be used as vehicles for SRH advocacy in the youths' communities. End users will be able to demand for services they need through this project, bringing to the fore issues for the youth

Explain your idea. (500 character limit)

This project seeks to train youth on ICT and online advocacy through the use of social media i.e. facebook, twitter to campaign and advocate for SRH rights. This is linked to the Gender Links online Community of Practice which will be used for discussion and wider regional dissemination. The intervention seeks to ensure that youths are able to demand sexual reproductive health services from the local authorities that serve them. The intention is for councils to formulate youth friendly policies.

What is your value proposition? (500 character limit)

Gender Links' niche is that it has a vibrant ICT component in all its programming. The use of a Community of Practice as a resource centre and discussion forum will ensure that SRH information is disseminated and practices shared too. Other platforms such as FaceBook, Twitter and WhatsApp will aid instant solutions and participation of young women and girls in SRH initiatives. These components and discussions will be shared with service providers (local councils who provide health services.

What's different about your idea compared to current solutions? (500 character limit)

Gender Links works with local government an often forgotten tier responsible for health and education facilities at the local level. This gives the comparative advantage of demanding gender responsive local governance to ensure SRH services for youth are considered. We will leverage on already established Gender Action Plans that have SRHR components that councils have developed. 66% of the COEs have junior councillors, the majority of whom are young women. They have a voice in council,community

What are the key reasons why end users would turn to your organization over another?

  • Performance: Improving performance

What would success look like for your end users? (500 character limit)

Youth and gender friendly SRHR services that are monitored by end users. A platform where services and information on SRH rights are accessed through an active online Community of Practice where discussions are held and resources shared. This will enable youths to engage in participatory governance issues. Through a citizen scorecard, they'll be able to rate the extent to which services particular to their needs are being delivered. Annual summits will showcase youths, council SRH best practices

How would you measure the impact your idea has on your end user(s) ? How will you measure the success of your program? (500 character limit)

Improved sexual reproductive health and rights services and knowledge for women and girls. The development of a scorecard highlighting the level of satisfaction of SRH services provided. This project will ensure that we document through video footage and stories of beneficiaries. The number of discussions and comments on the Community of Practice board will be used to measure the extent to which knowledge and services are being used. Facebook and Twitter likes to change stories will be used too

What strategies will/are you testing to acquire end users? (300 character limit)

The project will work with junior councillors responsible for leading advocacy and lobbying campaigns for young women and girls' SRH rights as well as map SRH services through a "trip advisor" to assess accessibility and quality of services. Use of an online Community of Practice discussion board.

Key partnerships - Who will you partner with to make your idea work? (500 character limit)

Ministry of local government 68 Local authorities (31 urban and 37 rural) Junior councillors in 66% of the local authorities who will do advocacy and awareness campaigns as well as pushing forward young girls' issues in council policy

What is your organization’s name? (150 character limit)

Gender Links

Tell us more about you: (750 character limit)

Formed in March 2001, Gender Links is headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with offices in ten Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, including Zimbabwe and a Lusophone base in Mozambique and Francophone base in Madagascar. GL coordinates the Southern African Gender Protocol Alliance that campaigned for the adoption of this unique instrument in 2008. In its gender and governance programme GL spearheads the 50/50 campaign in the region. GL has played a key role in putting gender on the local government agenda in ten SADC countries through 432 councils that have joined the Centres of Excellence for Gender in Local Government. This includes gender responsive budgeting and service delivery, with new areas like SRHR.

Organizational Characteristics

  • Women-led organization
  • Youth-led organization
  • Locally/community-led organization

Where will your idea be implemented? (200 character limit)

This project will be rolled in 68 local authorities (31 urban and 37 rural) in 10 provinces in Zimbabwe. This is a representation of 74% of Zimbabwe.

What do you need to get started? (500 character limit)

Key to this project will be the financial resources to undertake the project. We will need to undertake a pilot study in at least 10 local authorities (one per province) prior to undertaking the project which will be essential in testing out the project tools (Local government scorecard; usage of online platforms on the community of practice). Pre-training for junior councillors and youths is critical for the project. The results of this pilot study will be the basis for establishing baselines.

What is the current scale of your proposed innovation?

  • Community - one or a few communities within one country

Experience in Implementation Country(ies)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

Expertise in Sector

  • I've worked in a sector related to my idea for more than a year.

Organization Location (200 character limit)

The organization is a regional organization whose Head Office is in South Africa and has a registered and functional office in Zimbabwe where this project will be taking place.

What is your organizational status?

  • We are a registered non-profit, charity, NGO, or community-based organization.

What is the maturity of your innovation?

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

Website

http://genderlinks.org.za/ https://www.facebook.com/GenderLinks/ https://twitter.com/GenderLinks

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