Improving SA’s largest HIV prevention programme

Project name:
Medical Male Circumcision Scale Up and Sustainability to Avert New HIV Infections (MMC SUSTAIN) – Increasing Ownership, Motivation, and Capacity

Service:
Applied behavioural economics

Sector:
Health
Public and Social

Client:
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)

Date:
2018 - ongoing

Country:
South Africa


Genesis Analytics and the Foundation for Professional Development (FPD) have been commissioned by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to provide technical assistance to the South African Department of Health (DOH) to support the delivery of a key HIV prevention programme - the national Medical Male Circumcision (MMC) Programme.

The Applied Behavioural Economics (ABE) team is supporting the programme by:

  • Developing and delivering the first behaviourally informed technical assistance approach in South Africa, and
  • Applying and testing insights from behavioural science to improve government capacity, ownership and motivation to deliver MMC services

Why does this project matter?

MMC is a key HIV prevention intervention. It reduces the risk of female-to-male transmission of HIV by up to 60%. The MMC programme is currently heavily dependent on external partner support. DOH is taking on increased ownership of the programme and has ambitious targets to meet. However, limited financial and human resources constrain its ability to take on the increasing demands of the programme. Behavioural science offers insights to help effectively increase capacity for, ownership of, and motivation to deliver the programme without the need for additional resources.

What is the ABE team doing?

We are applying and testing insights from behavioural science to increase capacity for, ownership of, and motivation to deliver the programme in the Department of Health - from the facility and sub-district level, all the way through to national level of the programme.

We carried out stakeholder interviews, visited health facilities, and carried out data analysis to gain insights on key behavioural barriers to the delivery of the programme. Based on these findings, we are developing and testing four interventions to address priority behaviours that impact on successful delivery at the facility and sub-district levels and address the wider ownership, capacity and motivation goals of the technical assistance programme:

  • To increase ownership: Our first intervention will aim to integrate MMC awareness and increase referrals from other day-to-day services at healthcare facilities.
  • To increase capacity: Our second and third interventions will aim to improve adherence to data processes and adverse events reporting processes.
  • To increase motivation: Our fourth intervention will create engaging and user-friendly data visualisations and timely feedback for health facility workers and DOH staff to improve motivation and performance.

Insights from these interventions will feed into recommendations for the wider MMC programme and produce lessons that can be applied and replicated in other healthcare programmes.

Watch this space to see how the ABE team demonstrates its know-how in social development spaces.

We provide support for govt plan of 2,5m male circumcisions by 2022

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