Sound operations research is a fundamental component of C-Change’s work. Its findings guide our SBCC capacity-strengthening strategies in different settings; the tools and training we develop; and interventions we design, adapt, and promote. To date, research has been or is being conducted on:
- gender and social norms that affect the health and well-being of males as well as females, including the uptake of modern family planning services and the practice of multiple concurrent partnerships
- the added value of radio communications that address gender norms when promoting community-based distribution of oral contraceptives
- opportunities to address high HIV prevalence among adult women through SBCC
Gender and social norms—attitudes, beliefs, and practices—are often at the center of our operations research, since they have considerable impact on health outcomes and health status.
C-Change research in sub-Saharan Africa
Underserved Adult Women: C-Change conducted qualitative research in South Africa and Namibia that identifies social norms and other factors that make women ages 20–34 highly vulnerable to HIV infection and communication strategies that can reduce their vulnerability. Similar research is being conducted in Ethiopia. Findings across rural and urban communities indicate that both men and women understand risk behaviors and underlying factors that contribute to high rates of HIV infection.This knowledge has not yet been transformed into action in the context of relationships, and communities have not been adequately involved in developing local strategies on HIV prevention. Study participants shared a wide range of personal HIV-prevention strategies, as well their ideas on increasing community engagement in the prevention response.
Perspectives of People Living with HIV (PLHIV): C-Change has conducted studies in Mozambique, Uganda, and Ethiopia that gather and analyze the perspectives of PLHIV on HIV prevention and Positive Health, Dignity and Prevention (PHDP) to inform SBCC and other interventions that strengthen the response. Findings also address the experiences, and practices of PLHIV related to PHDP; the availability of relevant activities and services at community levels; and the extent to which these meet the needs of PLHIV in the three countries. The studies investigate barriers to the adoption of health-seeking behaviors by PHIV; opportunities to improve communication interventions that meet their prevention needs, particularly at community levels; and how prevention is understood—by PLHIV (disaggregated by gender and age), clinic and home-based care providers, support groups, networks, and others.
Paper Version of the Standard Days Method: In Benin, C-Change designed and tested a paper version of the Standard Days Method to promote and supplement CycleBeadsÒ used to keep track of fertile days in a woman's menstrual cycle.
SBCC Support for Integrated Family Planning and HIV Services: In the Ludazi District in Zambia, C-Change and CARE analyzed effects of community-informed SBCC strategies on uptake of integrated family planning, HIV, and TB services and whether these strategies help to dispel erroneous beliefs and rumors about modern family planning methods.