EDEAN was tested as a 6 month peer learning and community theatre intervention to diffuse fertility awareness and FP information among Karimojong communities, Uganda. A quasi-experimental study using mixed-methods was conducted to assess the delivery, effectiveness and potential scalability of EDEAN in increasing fertility awareness and improving FP use. Methods included baseline and endline household surveys in intervention and control communities; focus group discussions with intervention community members; key informant interviews and observational data of intervention activities.
EDEAN’s key findings and takeaways include:
- Viewing the EDEAN performances was strongly and significantly associated with higher fertility awareness, intent to use modern FP, and couple communication about FP among women, men and younger viewers, relative to non-viewers
- Qualitative findings confirm that EDEAN helped enable a more supportive environment for community-wide communication and sharing of accurate fertility awareness and FP information between couples, and younger male and female individuals
- In addition to diffusing correct fertility awareness and FP information, the performances engendered discussion and critical reflection about previously considered taboo topics, helping to debunk myths and misconceptions about menstruation and modern FP methods among community members
Overall, fertility awareness content on couple communication, menstruation, fertility and FP – delivered through a 6 month peer learning and community theatre approach – was found to be a feasible and acceptable approach to increase demand for FP information and methods in Karamoja. In settings with low availability and use of FP services like Karamoja, demand generation activities like community theatre need to be paired with strong service delivery platforms to enable behavior change from intent toward use of modern FP methods.