TransACTION Program: Behavior Change Strategy
Save the Children Federation, Inc. and its partners – the Academy for Educational Development, Population Services International, Marie Stopes International Ethiopia and local NGOs, including Mekdim, OSSA, and Pro-Pride – were implementing the TransACTION Program in Ethiopia. The program sought to reduce HIV and STI transmission along transport corridor routes. Their five-year program began in May 2009 and was implemented through May 2014. At that time, TransACTION expected to work in 120 towns along eight high-risk corridors located throughout the country.
Global Learning Partners, (GLP) Inc. was contracted to assist in the writing of this five-year strategic plan. This plan needed to ensure the creation of a supportive enabling environment for prevention and care services, as TransACTION aimed to transform the “existing context” to a “new context”.
To achieve this goal, GLP Senior Partners and consultants Jeanette Romkema and Valerie Uccellani ensured that the strategic plan worked to bring about positive behavior change among TransACTION’s priority groups by planning to provide information, building skills, and offering a range of services. The services include in the 5-year plan are prevention, care, support and economic strengthening. The priority groups TransACTION is working with are: 1) female daily laborers; 2) male daily laborers; 3) transport workers; 4) waitresses; 5) commercial sex workers; and, 6) people living with HIV.
GLP and TransACTION also worked with independent contractor and Dialogue Education™ practitioner Bonnie Kittle, who played the lead role in supporting the TransACTION team to not only analyze the findings from the formative assessment, but to also use the findings to guide decision-making about behavior change strategies and interventions.
For TransACTION the value of this 5-year strategic plan was ensure the development of behaviour change programs for the most at risk groups in Ethiopia. It validated the work that TransACTION had already started (since the strategic plan was written after the start of the program) and assisted in clarifying doable goals and realistic change.