Positve impact of Soul Buddyz Clubs on young women

Project name:
Evaluation of the Soul Buddyz Clubs

Service:
Monitoring and evaluation
Prevention

Sector:
Public and Social
Health

Area of Expertise:
Research, evaluation and design

Client:
Soul City Institute for Health and Development Communication

Date:
2015 - 2017

Country:
South Africa


The Soul City Institute for Health and Development Communication (SCIHDC) has been running Soul Buddyz Clubs (SBC) in primary schools in South Africa since 2004. SCIHDC wanted to determine the long-term impact of participation in SBC on previous members’ overall health, community participation and level of education attainment. 

We undertook this evaluation together with fieldwork partner, Social Surveys Africa (SSA). The proposed sample comprised people who were SBC members between 2004 and 2008. 

The challenges included having to find and recruit members retrospectively without a sample frame, establishing an appropriate control group, getting participants to come to a central venue for interviews and asking participants to get an HIV test.

Winner in Joburg receiving his camera from Mpho Molebatsi from SSA

Winner in Joburg receiving his camera from Mpho Molebatsi from SSA

Our approach was to first conduct a feasibility study to determine the likelihood of being able to locate previous SBC members and to determine the preferred control group. We used these findings to develop an innovative retrospective cohort study design to meet the study objectives. 

We then used a multi-pronged recruitment approach to recruit the ex-SBC members. Methods included radio adverts, a Facebook group, WhatsApp and telephone calls to those identified through snowballing. We incentivised referrals of previous SBCs to improve snowballing. We established where the majority of the ex-SBC members attended primary school and together with SSA we identified appropriate community controls using random sampling. SAA staff were at the fieldwork sites and ensured participants were given transport money and thank-you gifts. We ran competitions at the fieldwork sites to improve the response rate.

We were able to combine epidemiological expertise, in-depth sector knowledge and real world experience to solve a difficult evaluation problem for our client using an innovative study design. The results of the study will be used to determine whether school-based programmes have any lasting impact on HIV – an area where there is not much evidence. In addition, SCIHDC now has a list of previous members as well as an activate platform (Facebook group) through which it can communicate with them. 

Top picture: Sarah Magni, the manager of the Health practice, addresses a briefing on the study that was presented at the 8th SA AIDS Conference in Durban in June 2017

Positive impact of health club on young women's HIV status

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