CALL FOR PROPOSALS

Evaluation of the Ministerial Commitment on comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents and young people in Eastern and Southern African (ESA)

1.     Background and Context:

A commitment for positive health outcomes for all young people in East and Southern Africa was endorsed and affirmed in 2013 by Ministers of Education and Health from 20 ESA countries. Together they agreed to work collaboratively towards a vision of young Africans who are global citizens of the future, who are educated, healthy, resilient, socially responsible, informed decision-makers, and have capacity to contribute to their community, country, and region. The countries that affirmed the commitment are Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe[1].

The ESA Commitment, as it is known, is a response to the circumstances of the region’s adolescents and young people aged 10 to 24 years and numbering around 199 million. They face many sexual and reproductive health (SRH) challenges, including early and unintended pregnancy, HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), gender-based violence (GBV) and child marriage, discrimination and low access to quality friendly health services – all of which can undermine education opportunities, especially for girls, and affect future health and opportunities.

The ESA Commitment has time-bound targets agreed upon by member states which paved the way for actions to scale up delivery of sexuality education and related health services; supported joint action around developing programmes and sharing information; integration of services and reinforced linkages and referrals between schools and health services; and fostered an overall approach which facilitates access and equity and strengthens national responses to HIV and adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights (ASRHR).

The ESA Commitment process was co-led by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and other UN partners, as well as the East African Community (EAC), Southern African Development Community (SADC), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and religious and youth leaders. To drive the ESA Commitment at regional level, a High Level Group (HLG) was created, composed of regional leaders in education, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), HIV prevention, and development. Assisting the HLG is a Technical Coordinating Group (TCG), whose key task is to provide technical, administrative, and financial support to the ESA Commitment process. Having developed a Regional Accountability Framework (RAF) that breaks down the ESA Commitment targets into several processes and outcome indicators, the TCG has been instrumental in tracking progress through a harmonized monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system.

2.     Purpose and scope of the Evaluation

After six years of implementation, an evaluation of the Commitment is needed to assess the effectiveness of the Commitment in achieving targets and improving outcomes for young people. The overall objective of the evaluation is to assess the results, take stock of progress and generate knowledge and evidence from the ESA Commitment implementation experience in 20 member countries and their respective Ministries of Health and Education. The overall purpose of the evaluation is to assess the processes and achievements made through the ESA Commitment efforts in order to draw lessons that will inform the rationale for the extension of the ESA Commitment to 2030 to align with Agenda 2030. The evaluation is intended to be forward looking and will provide information on the nature, extent and where possible, the effect of the ESA Commitment to the sexual and reproductive health and rights of adolescents and young people in East and Southern Africa, while also forming a baseline for a possible extension of the commitment beyond 2020.

The evaluation will cover the entire implementation period from 2013 to 2020. It will assess the progress made in the specific areas of the ESA Commitment Accountability Framework, review the achievements or lack thereof in meeting the targets set for 2015 and 2020 and assess the efficacy of the multi-sectoral mechanisms employed to realize the Commitment. While the evaluation will cover the experiences of each member country, in-depth study will be conducted in ten purposefully selected countries from East Africa and Southern Africa and best practices will be documented and disseminated.

Specific objectives of the evaluation include the following:

1.       Relevance

The evaluation should assess the design and focus of the ESA Commitment Accountability Framework and review the extent to which the objectives of the Commitment are consistent with the needs and priorities of adolescents and young people, the implementation partners, and key stakeholders within the member states. Questions to be answered here include, but not limited to the following:

  • How has the ESA Commitment influenced the development of national ASRHR policy, strategy and plans?
  • How has the ESA Commitment influenced national priorities aiming at fulfilling adolescent and young people sexual and reproductive health rights?
  • To what extent has the target group been involved in the ESA commitment coordination processes in the country? Have the target populations/primary beneficiaries been reached? Why or why not?
  • To what extent are the interests, voices and priorities of adolescents and young people taken into consideration in planning and implementation of the interventions?
  • Has a participatory/coordination methodology been applied as a means to achieve a larger degree of ownership by the countries?
  • How do stakeholders and target groups perceive the ESA Commitment and contributions made toward improving the sexual reproductive health and rights of adolescents and young people? What is the perceived value going forward?
  • To what extent are issues of rights to Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) and HIV prevention for young key populations, particularly LGBTI considered?
  • Did the implementation of the ESA Commitments benefit from the support of the partners? If yes, who are the key stakeholders?

2.      Effectiveness

The evaluation will assess how the ESA commitment ‘operationalization’ processes that were put in place at regional and national level have been effective in coordinating the achievement of the commitment in the different countries. Questions to be answered include the following:

  • To what extent did the Technical Coordinating Group mechanism contribute in meeting results?
  • What results were achieved (quality and extent)? How were the results achieved? How do they respond to the targets set in the accountability framework?
  • What factors contributed to effective achievement of results, across the different country contexts?
  • How effective has the Accountability Framework been in responding to the needs of the beneficiaries?
  • What challenges were faced during implementation of the commitment and how can they be used to improve future plans in accessing services to the target group?
  • What are the future intervention strategies and issues?
  • Are there any examples of unintended results (positive or negative) from project implementation?

3.       Efficiency

The evaluation will assess the efficiency of ESA Commitment implementation in terms of how country investments in the areas of the commitment have converted to results. Questions to be answered include the following:

  • Have countries budgeted for the realization of the targets set by the accountability framework? If so, to what extent is the investment justified by its actual results so far?
  • To what extent have countries been able to coordinate all the relevant initiatives under the umbrella of the ESA Commitment?
  • What is the added benefit of a regional commitment / HLG/ TGC to achieving targets of the Commitment?
  • Have the interventions been brought to scale for optimal impact?
  • Are the national coordination mechanisms multi-sectoral in nature and do they include planning and fiscal Ministries such as Finance and Economic Planning?
  • What challenges if any have been experienced in project implementation?

4.       Sustainability

The evaluation should also examine the sustainability of national interventions designed to achieve the ESA Commitment’s targets. Questions to be answered include the following:

  • What is the likelihood of continuation and sustainability of the key interventions undertaken by countries and partners to achieve the ESA Commitment targets beyond the year 2020?
  • What are the strategies put in place at the national level to sustain the implementation of key interventions beyond 2020?
  • Are the results achieved under the umbrella of the ESA Commitment sustainable at national level?
  • What was the degree of involvement of private sector/civil society organizations in the implementation of ESA commitment as they are major service providers in health and education sectors?
  • Are the ESA Commitment interventions/targets integrated into and prioritized in the national development strategies and UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework at the Country level?
  • What are the opportunities for sharing and exchanging of best practices for replication and scale up within the countries in the ESA regions?

5.       Emerging issues

The evaluation should not only look into the results achieved against the accountability framework but will also generate the necessary information for a possible extension including emerging issues relevant to the core of the commitment and not yet included. Questions to be answered include the following:

  • If you had to recommend for the extension of the ESA Commitment beyond the year 2020, what are key areas of work that you would like to include? Why?
  • Please give us a list of three (3) main areas of work that need to be included in the ESA commitment to ensure the full realization of adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health and the principle of leaving no one behind?
  • Are there good practices/lessons learned that have emerged from the synergies and complementarities among the participating countries in form of South-South Cooperation?

3.     Methodology for Evaluation

A mixed-methods approach is desired for this evaluation. It is expected that the evaluation will gather both quantitative and qualitative data on the ten commitments, the nine targets of the commitment and the individual elements of the Accountability Framework. As such, the evaluation is expected to use a combination of methods, including but not limited to the following:

  • Desk study and review of all relevant documentation including the ESA Commitment documents, annual work-plans, annual progress reports, mid-term review report, reports of the High Level Group and the Technical Coordinating Group
  • Desk study and review of relevant secondary data, including Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) and other population surveys and studies, for all ESA Commitment member states
  • In depth interviews to gather primary data from key stakeholders using a structured methodology and interviews with relevant key informants
  • Focus Group discussions with beneficiaries and other stakeholders[2].

A Results-Based Management approach will be applied considering not only progress toward the targets set, but quality and the logic of the commitment, as well as its consequences. The approach would allow us to analyze why intended results have or have not been achieved. It will help to identify gaps and bottlenecks and enable assessment of specific causal contributions of outputs to outcomes, examine the implementation process and explore unintended results. The results-based approach will also ensure the measurement of relevance of the action and ownership of the programme and it will offer recommendations for improvement.

4.     Guiding Principles for the Evaluation

It is requested that the evaluation be conducted within the prescripts of the following four broad sets of evaluation standards as guiding principles for the consultancy, namely:  propriety standards, feasibility standards, accuracy standards and utility standards:

The propriety standards are ethical standards meant to ensure that evaluations are conducted with due regard for the rights and welfare of affected people. The most basic of the propriety standards is that evaluations should never violate or endanger human rights. Evaluators should respect human dignity and worth in their interaction with all persons encountered during the evaluation and do all in their power to ensure that they are not wronged.

• The feasibility standards are intended to ensure that evaluations are realistic and efficient. To satisfy these requirements, an evaluation must be based on practical procedures, not unduly disrupting normal activities, and be planned and conducted in such a way that the co-operation of key stakeholders can be obtained. They should also be efficient.

• The accuracy standards are meant to ensure that the information produced by evaluations is factually correct, free of bias, and appropriate to the evaluation issues at hand.

• The utility standards, finally, are meant to ensure that evaluations serve the information needs of their intended users: to be useful, evaluations must be responsive to the interests, perspectives and values of stakeholders.

A human rights-based approach should be employed to bring into focus not only the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of activities carried out but also the processes of project implementation. Particular attention should be given to the principles of inclusion, participation, equality and non-discrimination, and accountability as addressed in project activities.

5.     Duration of the Evaluation / Timeframe

Activities Deliverables Timeframe (days)
Preparation  
Briefing with Technical Coordinating Group Minutes of
meeting
1-2August
2020
Review all relevant data sources and prepare an inception report to be submitted to the TCG The inception report will detail: methodology;availability of data sources, by commitment areas and Countries;schedule of activities and timeline per country;draft data collection tools;a data analysis matrix which links the questions in the data collection tools to the outcome areas/indicators/questions. Draft inception report
including tools available for
comments
8
Submit the final Inception report and quality assurance plan with all comments integrated Final inception report available 5
Data Collection  
Literature review of available  documents, survey reports and published studies on adolescents and young people relevant to the scope of this assignment   15
Qualitative and quantitative data collection fieldwork, including data capture and processing (Virtually)   50
Data Analysis and Reporting  
Analyze data collected and prepare draft report Draft evaluation report available for review by TCG and stakeholders 16
Integrate comments from TCG and stakeholders in draft report and share draft   4
Presentation of the draft report. Comments made by the key stakeholders will inform the final report   1
Produce final evaluation report incorporating all comments received and a final PowerPoint presentation summarizing the report.   5
Total of days and estimated timeframe   105 (From July to December 2020)

6.     Expected Deliverables

Deliverable 1:   An inception report which contains the objectives and scope, description of methodology/methodological approach, data collection tools, data analysis methods, key informants/agencies, review questions, performance criteria, work plan and reporting requirements including ethical approval requirements and tools for submission. It should include a clear matrix relating all these aspects and a desk review with a list of the documents consulted as well as a quality assurance plan.

Deliverable 2:   Draft report to be shared with key stakeholders for comments whose structure follows Introduction, Methodology, Analysis, Key challenges/Opportunities, Lessons Learned, Key Recommendations, Conclusions and Annexes.

Deliverable 3:   Presentation of the draft report: develop and present a PowerPoint presentation showing preliminary findings, lessons learned and recommendations to the ESA Commitment’s key stakeholders. Comments made by the key stakeholders will inform the draft report.

Deliverable 4:   Final evaluation report incorporating all comments received and a final PowerPoint Presentation summarizing the report.

Deliverable 5:   Master presentation of the findings and recommendations.

7.     Required expertise and qualification

The team of consultants should have the following profile(s).

Team leader

  • At least a PhD degree or equivalent level in one of the following fields: Public health, Demography, Development Studies, Health Economics, Social Sciences, or other related studies;
  • International experience of 10 to 15 years is required and past experience in working with the UN, EAC or SADC is an added advantage;
  • Experience working in East and Southern Africa;
  • Past experience as a team leader in a related assignment(s) and production of a quality evaluation report;
  • Proven experience in adolescent and young people sexual and reproductive health and rights;
  • Previous experience in similar assignments and inter-sectoral collaboration will have an added advantage;
  • Proven experience and skills in developing policy, strategic documents and conducting complex evaluation at regional and national levels will be an asset;
  • Experience and understanding of UN programming processes;
  • Excellent report writing, communication, interviewing and computer skills.

The Team leader will be required to submit one sample of previous similar work produced and 3 references or proof of satisfactory completion from the previous employers or contractors.

Team member Consultants

  • Master’s Degree in Population, Demography, Statistics, Public Health, Development Studies or other related studies;
  • At least 7 year of relevant experience;
  • Proven experience in conducting reviews and evaluations involving adolescents and young peoples’ sexual and reproductive health and rights;
  • Experience and skills in using evidence-based, knowledge base creation and ability to develop systems for improved performance;
  • Proven experience in Programme evaluations and assessments;
  • Evidence of an analytical work in the subject matter;
  • Excellent report writing, communication, interviewing and computer skills.

 All interested consultants/firms are requested to submit an application:

  • Explaining their competencies to meet the requirements of the assignment;
  • Explaining, in detail, the proposed methodology to be used in carrying out the assignment, including sampling strategy (not just sample size but also urban, rural, age, sex disaggregation, etc.);
  • Providing the expected duration of the assignment and dates of availability; roles and competencies of core team members;
  • Providing a detailed professional budget in USD (Indicate daily professional rates and days);
  • Attaching brief technical bio data of core team members;
  • Providing evidence of similar work undertaken recently (Not more than 5 years) and references.

8.     Management Arrangement

The Evaluation Team will report to the Technical Coordinating Group under the leadership of SADC and EAC. M&E Advisors from the participating UN agencies will provide technical guidance on the evaluation and ensure independence of the evaluation process, and that policy is followed. UNESCO, UNFPA, UNAIDS, WHO, UNDP and UNICEF will manage the evaluation and provide logistical support under the overall guidance of SADC Secretariat and the East Africa Community.

Important: Upon recruitment of the successful Consultant, deliverables will be broken down based on each agency’s financial contribution. The Consultant will then enter into bilateral contractual agreements with each individual agency.


[1] Rwanda did not officially endorse the commitment. However, they have been active members of the initiative also regularly reporting on progress

[2] The methodology may vary according to country specific context, especially in light of COVID-19. For instance, FGDs may not be happening due to lockdown measures in some countries. Therefore, alternatives will have to be looked into.

NEW YORK, 25 Nov 2019 – 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an annual global campaign designed to mobilise action to end gender-based violence (GBV) in all its forms. The campaign runs from 25 November to 10 December. School-related gender-based violence (SRGBV) is defined as ‘acts or threats of sexual, physical, or psychological violence occurring in and around schools, perpetrated as a result of gender norms and stereotypes and enforced by unequal power dynamics.’

Millions of children are affected by violence in and around schools every year. Girls are particularly vulnerable. SRGBV negatively impacts the ability of children to get to and from school, attendance rates, learning outcomes and can lead to higher rates of school drop-out. Identifying, responding to, and preventing SRGBV is therefore critical to advancing gender equality in education as well as the Sustainable Development Goal 4 target of ‘safe, inclusive and gender-sensitive learning environments.’ 

Developed by UNGEI through the Global Working Group to End SRGBV, our publication A Whole School Approach to prevent and respond to SRGBV: minimum standards and monitoring framework provides guidance for policy makers and practitioners in developing strategies to address school violence. The model is based on eight evidence-based standards drawn from approaches identified as promising practices for SRGBV prevention and response. Taken together, the following key elements represent a ‘whole school approach’ (WSA) to tackling SRGBV:

  1. Effective school leadership and community engagement to create safe, gender-sensitive learning environments
  2. Establishing and implementing a code of conduct
  3. Capacity building of teachers and educational staff support
  4. Empowering children on child rights, participation and gender equality
  5. Improving reporting, monitoring and accountability
  6. Incident response
  7. Strengthening safe and secure physical environments in and around schools
  8. Engaging parents

Over the course of this 16-day campaign UNGEI and partners will unpack each of these eight key elements through a digital advocacy campaign. Inspired by dialogue across digital channels and discussion fora, both in person and online, a global writeshop will be convened on Human Rights Day (10 Dec) leading to the creation of an open letter. Produced collaboratively, the letter will appeal to the countries of the world to take a number of key actions in order to make schools safe and gender-sensitive learning environments. Find out how you can take part here. 

The fight to end SRGBV must continue beyond these 16 Days. Therefore, marking a new phase of the campaign to #EndSRGBV, on 10 December UNGEI and partners will also release a series of six advocacy briefs featuring case studies on promising practice for tackling SRGBV. Each brief brings together the latest learning and evidence on how to prevent and respond to SRGBV, providing a framework for further advocacy, activism, and action against violence in schools.

Join us in learning how we can work together to address this global crisis, calling on global leaders to take action against School-Related Gender-Based Violence during this 16 Days of Activism and beyond. 

Follow UNGEI on Facebook and Twitter and join the conversation via #EndSRGBV 


Harare, Zimbabwe – 24 October 2019: Over 2,000 students, teachers and civil society representatives  convened at the Makomo Primary School in the outskirts of Harare for the national launch of the “Let’s Talk!” Campaign on early and unintended pregnancy (EUP).

In attendance at the festive event were high level dignitaries and government officials including Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa, First Lady of Zimbabwe; Prof. Hubert Gijzen, UNESCO’s Regional Director for Southern Africa; Angelica Broman, First Secretary at the Swedish Embassy in Harare; the Ministers of Education, Health, and Provincial Affairs; and heads of UN agencies and NGOs.

As part of the ESA Ministerial commitment endorsed in December 2013, the “Let’s Talk!” Campaign aims to empower young people, especially girls, with the knowledge, information and support to prevent EUP.

Today we are launching the Lets Talk! Campaign on early and unintended pregnancy I want to recognise the young people, the learners present here in such large numbers this

[campaign]

is about you, this is about your future, your rights, and your lives said Prof. Gijzen.

The key message “let’s talk about pregnancy at the right time” was echoed through narratives of shared responsibility of families, communities, and institutions to address the root causes of EUP.

The Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Prof. Paul Mavhima said that the “Let’s Talk!” Campaign is coming just at the right time when his ministry is implementing multiple interventions that respond directly to the plight of the girl child, most notably, the prioritisation of the Education Amendment Bill. He highlighted that among the Bill’s key provisions are efforts to outlaw all forms of discrimination in schools including on the basis of pregnancy. To this end, the Bill provides for all learners to have access to quality education after experiencing pregnancy.

For too long, when an adolescent becomes pregnant, we have pointed the finger at her. It is time that we pointed the finger at ourselves. If a girl gets pregnant that is because we have not provided her with the information, education, training and support she needs to prevent herself becoming pregnant, said Dr. Obadiah Moyo, Minister of Health and Child Care.

Adolescent pregnancy remains a major challenge and contributor to maternal and child mortality, fuelled by grinding poverty across rural and urban communities in Zimbabwe. Perinatal deaths are 50% higher among babies born to mothers under the age of 20 years and adolescent mothers are more likely to have underweight babies at risk of infections and death during the early stages of infancy.

The First Lady, Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa concluded the launch event by saying the Lets Talk campaign [is] an opportunity to amplify our actions  strategic partners [are] supporting the Governments efforts to ensure that the campaign reaches all parts of the country. Let us all amplify our voices against EUP in churches, schools, health centres, community meetings, workplaces and social spaces. Lets Talk! Pregnancy at the Right Time.  Lets Talk Health, Education and Rights for Pregnant Girls.

To learn more about the “Let’s Talk!” Campaign, please visit youngpeopletoday.org or follow us on twitter @ LetsTalkEUP

UNESCO officially launched the Our Rights, Our Lives, Our Future (O3) Programme in Malawi in partnership with the Ministry of Science, Education and Technology and the Norwegian Embassy in Lilongwe on 10 October 2019. The launch culminated in the agreement signing ceremony between UNESCO and the Government of Norway to accelerate the O3 programme.

The O3 launch was attended by UNESCO’s Regional Director for Southern Africa, Prof. Hubert Gijzen, the Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Dr. William Susuwele Banda, the, the Norwegian Ambassador to Malawi, Steinar Egil Hagen, and the UN Resident Coordinator, Maria Jose Torres Macho. Representatives from civil society organisations and the media were present along with students, teachers and parents at the Mphungu Primary School in Lilongwe.

Since the commencement of the O3 programme in Malawi, the government has been an instrumental partner in advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights to its population. Despite these notable measures, over 70% of new HIV infections are among young women (15-19 years). Pregnancy and childbirth complications continue to be the leading cause of death among young women in Malawi.

The Norwegian Ambassador, Steinar Egil Hagen stated we are today at the starting point of an important partnership, with our friends in the Malawi government, and with the UN-family and working on an important topic, comprehensive sexuality education”…”together, we can make a difference for children in Malawi.

The funding provided by the Norwegian government will allow Malawi to deepen the scope of existing activities to attain full-scale implementation of Comprehensive Sexual Education (CSE) supported by inter-sectoral partners and UNESCO Malawi.

As we sign the Agreement for this project, we are making a public declaration that now more than ever, we need to transform the lives of children and young people. We are saying we want to work together in eradicating these challenges. Eradicating gender-based violence, early and unintended pregnancy, reduce new HIV infections, and increase young peoples knowledge said Prof. Gijzen, UNESCO’s Regional Director.

UNESCO has been working across the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) region to improve sexual and reproductive health outcomes for adolescents and young people through scaling up CSE. The provision and access to CSE resources are expected to promote and sustain risk-reducing behaviour among young people.

Held annually on 5 October since 1994, World Teachers’ Day commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. This Recommendation sets benchmarks regarding the rights and responsibilities of teachers and standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, and teaching and learning conditions. This years theme is “Young Teachers: The Future of the Profession.” We recognise the critical  importance  of  reaffirming  the  value  of  the  teaching  mission.  UNESCO works with teachers in many different capacities. We have compiled some teacher profiles to highlight some amazing individuals doing great work in their communities and embody this years theme.

Mr. Challi Bejiga Mekaneyesus Primary school Addis Ababa

Mr. Challi Bejiga is a trained  school director. He is leading  the Mekaneyesus Primary school in Addis Ababa since 2016. In addition, he is a Chemistry teacher at grades 7 and 8.   He dedicates his time in helping students learn the sciences  for better lives.  He strongly believes that the young is the future of the nation . Mr. Challi has  the vision to make the school one of the five best schools in Addis Ababa.

Nqobile Ngwenya is a vibrant 35 year 0ld, young teacher who teaches Life Skills Education at Nhlangano Central High School. She also teaches English and Siswati. She has benefitted from the UNESCO Connect With Respect (CWR)  capacity building workshop which was held on the 30th September-3rd October, 2019, at Eswatini.

Nqobile Ngwenya teacher at Nhlangano Central High School

She presented one of the CWR activities at the workshop with so much vigor and exhibiting such a passion for the profession. Whe presenting she had the audience at her finger tips. She was able to fully engage the teachers  through song, play and fun. When interviewed about her strategy she said ‘learning through play’ was her teaching approach. She emphasized that she uses this strategy when teaching her learners at her school and she has since realized that learners enjoy learning in this way and it makes them cooperate. She also expressed how she does not experience behavior problems in her classes. This mentioned that this is despite the fact that one of the classes she teaches in the school is labelled as a ‘naughty’ class. She also revealed that she has a very close relationship with her learners and they view her as their second mother. She was of the impression that through this capacity building exercise she has been equipped with more skills and believes they will enable her to change the learners overall behavior even beyond her classes.

Priscilla Chete lives in Ndilande, Blantyre

Priscilla Chete is a 35 years old teacher at Njamba Community Day Secondary School in Blantyre. She has been in the teaching profession for 10 years. Priscilla is a holder of a Master of Arts degree in Development Studies which she obtained in Chancellor College in 2018. She also holds a bachelor of Arts in Education from Mzuzu University with English as her Major subject.

Priscilla who is also a senior teacher, holds different portfolios such as examination officer, sports coordinator as well as stores clerk. As a teacher, Priscilla belongs to Teachers Union of Malawi where she also serves as a youth national Chairperson. By virtue of being a teacher, she also chairs the Malawi Congress of Trade Unions youth Department.

Priscilla finds fulfilment of her work when she sees the students who have gone through her teaching progressing in life, specifically if they are selected to continue with their education in Universities and colleges. Some of the students that Priscilla has groomed have made it to universities like College of Medicine, Chancellor College and Mzuzu universities. Some are progressing up to Masters level.


Miss Hazvineyi Koroka
Nettleton Junior School, Harare

Ms. Koroka is in her early 30’s.She trained as a primary school teacher, having completed a diploma in teaching at Morgen Zintec Teachers’ College in 2002. She started teaching Grade 1 students at Mbare Primary School in Harare soon after finishing college. Currently she is a Grade 1 teacher at Nettleton Junior School. She loves teaching and she believes it is her vocation. In fact, she was attracted to the teaching profession because back in her high school days, when teaching was still a noble profession and many young people aspired to be like their teachers who well respected in the community.

To attract, recruit and keep young people in the teaching profession, there is need for Government to restore the lost status of teaching as a noble profession by addressing remuneration and conditions of living for teachers. Currently, it is lowly paid and teachers are struggling to make ends meet (As a young profession, I feel shortchanged by the system in that I cannot afford to meet Maslow’s hierarchy of needs from the below poverty datum line salary I am earning. What more of self-actualizing?) To cap it all, society generally looks down upon teachers to the extent that even our learners do not aspire to be teachers when they grow up when we do career guidance sessions!

UNESCO in partnership with UNFPA, SAfAIDS, and Save the Children Sweden launched the Let’s Talk! campaign on the 31st of July 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.Let’s Talk! is a social and behaviour change campaign to reduce early and unintended pregnancies (EUP) across 21 countries in the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) region, which has one of the highest adolescent fertility rates in the world. The campaign will be implemented until December 2020, and envisions an Eastern and Southern Africa region where all adolescents are empowered and have the knowledge, information, agency and support to prevent early and unintended pregnancy and reach their full potential

The campaign launch was attended by at least 150 participants from 13 countries across ESA region, which included the SADC PF Secretary General, South Africa Minister of Basic Education, Lesotho Minister of Education and Training, Zimbabwe Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, and other government officials from Ministry of Education and Health; #LetsTalkEUP Ambassador DJ Zinhle, Sida, Packard Foundation, UNESCO, UNFPA, SAfAIDS, Save the Children, and PCI Media representatives. Media practitioners from print and electronic media houses across the 13 countries also attended the launch.

The #LetsTalkEUP Ambassador, renowned DJ Zinhle, graced the stage at the launch and performed a song which she has produced exclusively for the campaign. The song features the campaign pillars of health, education and rights, within the context of EUP.  It will aim to engage and excite young people across the region, building upon DJ Zinhle’s immense popularity and appeal. 

The launch event overall introduced the campaign to the high-level stakeholders and raised awareness on the magnitude of EUP, as well as the need to implement preventative actions to address its devastating social and economic impacts, especially for the lives of adolescent girls and young women, but also men and boys and societies as a whole.

Speaking at the launch, UNESCO Regional Director, Professor Hubert Gijzen applauded governments for their dedication and commitment towards prioritising the lives of future generations. He called upon governments and other stakeholders to coordinate efforts in addressing Early and Unintended Pregnancy, as this is an issue that is compounded and affected by multiple factors including, policies, cultural practices, and the health and education systems.

The South Africa Minister of Basic Education, Honourable Angelina Motshekga emphasised that EUP has adverse impact on educational opportunities, achievements and future of adolescents, especially the girl child. She reiterated the need for coordinated efforts to accelerate progress in the prevention and management of EUP in the country as well as regionally. The “Let’s Talk!” campaign will continue to be rolled out at the country level in the coming weeks, including country-specific launch events across the ESA region

Media practitioners from print and electronic media houses across 13 countries in East and Southern Africa (ESA) are making concerted efforts to tackle Early and Unintended Pregnancy (EUP) in the region. This builds on from a 3-day training organized by UNESCO from the 29th to the 31st of July in Johannesburg, as well as other initiatives. The overall objective of the training was to equip the practitioners with skills to report on early and unintended pregnancy (EUP, promote EUP reportage onto the media agenda; and to come up with an EUP media practitioners community of practice.

In order to amplify efforts to reduce EUP, UNESCO partnered with UNFPA, SAfAIDS and Save the Children Sweden and developed a multimedia campaign, which will be implemented across 21 countries the region until December 2020. The campaign, branded  “Let’s Talk!”, was launched on the 31st of July, and will continue to be rolled out at the country level in the coming weeks, including country-specific launch events across the ESA region.

One of the key goals for the campaign is to be inclusive and bring together different audiences for conversations and collaborative action. In order to achieve this goal, the media practitioners will increasingly play a crucial role in raising awareness on EUP through various media platforms including print, television and radio, and overall creating space for different audiences to engage and dialogue on core issues in addressing EUP. In order to showcase acquired skills and strengthened capacities, a number of the media practitioners published articles on EUP as well as the launch.

Speaking at the meeting, UNESCO Regional HIV and Health Education Advisor (ESA), Dr. Patricia Machawira emphasized that preventing EUP is an important component of a wider response to ensuring the right to education for all girls. UNESCO advocates for countries to provide CSE that develops learners’ knowledge and skills to prevent pregnancy and make healthy and informed decisions about their sexual lives. Good quality CSE integrates content on pregnancy prevention, gender equality, power dynamics within relationships and preventing gender-based violence.

The 3-day training concluded with the media practitioners formulating clear roadmaps on how media will be utilized to support the Let’s Talk campaign at country level, and overall raise awareness on EUP.

On 17 July 2019 WFP, UNAIDS and UNESCO joined forces to honour the legacy of Nelson Mandela through a charitable act of kindness. As a way to commemorate Mandela Day 2019 collaboratively the agencies were able to collect a wide range of items for donation to the Frida Hartley Shelter ranging from clothing and toys. Mandela Day calls on us all, every day, to make the world a better place. This year’s theme for the International Mandela Day is #ActionAgainstPoverty.

Agency representatives from WFP, UNAIDS and UNESCO visited the Frida Hartley Shelter prior to the day of commemoration and met with Cheryl Hlabane, the centre Operations Manager who is doing a great job and needs support in many areas in addition to the pressing needs for the shelter such as food, toiletries and clothing.

The Frida Hartley Shelter aims to empower, educate and enhance the  intellectual capacity for homeless, displaced and/or abused women (and their  children) to improve their confidence so they can find employment,  start their own businesses and regain their dignity in society.

The shelter provides a home environment where women work together on domestic chores, cleaning, and cooking while receiving training and support to seek employment and independence. On average, women and their children stay at the shelter for 3 – 6 months, with many offering part-time volunteer support, and counselling once they have left the shelter. Over seven hundred women and children have been helped at the shelter. For more information on the shelter and how to assist click here.

UNESCO in partnership with World Council churches, Save the Children, UNFPA and Inerela organized a regional training of trainers for Religious Leaders on CSE and SRHR services for adolescents and young people from the 25th June to the 27th of June in Johannesburg South Africa. The training was attended by Religious leaders from the SADC region from different religious affiliations including Christian, Islam and Bahai faith.

There were moving and transformative sessions which dove into topics like comprehensive sexuality education, teen pregnancy, harmful and positive sexual behavior for adolescents and menstrual health management. One of the overarching themes of the training was “meeting young people where they are” and the importance of creating an environment in communities of inclusivity and trust. The religious leaders were able to give insight into the ways they currently engage adolescents in their communities on CSE and SRHR which gave good context that will be used on the evaluation of the content on the tool kit that has been developed for religious leaders on CSE and ASRH.

Since 2010, UNESCO and UN partners have been supporting the efforts of governments in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to change the narrative for adolescents and young people through Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE). Following the successful implementation of the ESA Commitment, UNESCO is partnering with governments and other UN agencies in the acclaimed Our Lives, Our Rights, Our Future (O3)* program. O3 is expected to reach over 30 million adolescents and young people from across 31 countries in SSA.

On January 30, 2019, the Ministry of Education in Ghana hosted UNESCO and other UN partners, Ministries of Education and Health from across 14 SSA countries to launch the O3 program. O3 supports the delivery of good quality CSE that empowers adolescents and young people by building skills, knowledge and attitudes to prevent HIV, reduce early and unintended pregnancies and eliminate gender-based violence.

Africa’s youth are its future and most precious resource,” said Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO. “Defending young women’s right to education is crucial both as a goal in and of itself, and as a means to better health and development outcomes. Knowledge protects. Risks [are high] if we do not address barriers to young people’s health and education.”

This South-South dialogue was also a platform for Ministers and senior government officials from across Sub-Saharan Africa to engage with UNESCO representatives, UN senior officials, partners, youth, Civil Society Organizations, educators, parents and religious leaders. Discussions revolved around sustaining political commitment to accelerate the implementation of CSE programs in the region.

“Since the ESA Commitment, significant progress has been achieved by most countries in developing political and policy support for CSE and reaching out to young people, educators, parents and community leaders,” said Mr Hubert Gijzen, UNESCO Regional Director for Southern Africa. “Zambia, for example, has been able to attain an almost full-scale implementation of CSE.”

Speaking at the Launch ceremony, Ghana’s Minister for Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh noted the timeliness of the program.

“Despite some strides in CSE in different countries, there is more crucial work to be done in order to ensure that our adolescents and young people learn in a safer environment that will contribute to quality and better educational outcomes,” said Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh.

Learning from ESA experiences, West and Central African countries are working towards securing a similar political commitment by 2020.

*Through the support of the governments of Sweden and Ireland, the O3 Programme builds on current efforts by UNESCO to improve sexual and reproductive health, as well as gender and education outcomes for adolescents and young people.

For more information on UNESCO’s work on health education, please visit https://en.unesco.org/themes/education-health-and-well-being

For information on the O3 program, please contact Amina Lahbabi a.lahbabi@unesco.org

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