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close this bookReproductive Health and Communication at the Grassroots - Experiences from Africa and Asia - Proceedings, 1997, Ethiopian Red Cross society training institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (IIRR, 1997, 292 p.)
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Conference resolution

May 16, 1997

In resolving matter related to reproductive health, in particular STDs/HIV-AIDS and family planning and acknowledging the impact of communication strategies presented in this conference, we, the South-South Peoples recommend that participatory community diagnosis be used as an entry point in addressing these issues.

Use participatory action research (PAR) to develop appropriate communication strategies with clear and simple messages to ensure effectiveness and sustainability, keeping in mind cultural sensitivities, community values, priorities and needs. Indigenous and traditional means of communication should be enhanced. The communities should be involved at all stages of the communication process. Impact assessment should be documented for further use.

Further recognizing that specially-sensitive issues like female genital mutilation, violence against women and adolescent reproductive health, be more specifically addressed and focus should move from awareness raising to attitude and behavior change.

Realizing that most messages have been focused on women, future communication strategies should give special attention to men.

Advocate for eradication of harmful traditional practices such as female genital mutilation and enhancement of helpful traditional practices.

Recognizing that networking between GOs and NGOs is essential - for policy change and service integration - advocacy, sharing of experiences and mobilization should be encouraged and affected.

We, the South-South Peoples, therefore, commit ourselves to achieving these goals in our various capacities.

Conference resolution (women)

May 16, 1997

In resolving matters related to reproductive health, in particular STDs/HIV-AIDS, FP and acknowledging the impact of community strategies presented in this conference, we the South-South Women (SSW) recommend that participatory community diagnosis be used as an entry point in addressing these issues.

Bearing in mind cultural sensitivities, community values, priorities and needs, for communication strategies to be effective and sustainable in addressing these issues, identification, planning, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of communication strategies should be research-based.

Further recognizing that specially sensitive issues like FGM, violence against women, etc, be more specifically addressed, focus should move from awareness raising to adoption of preventive practices.

Recognizing that collaboration between GOs and NGOs is essential (for policy change, service integration) advocacy and mobilization should be effected.

Realizing that most messages have been focused on women, future communication strategies should give special attention to men.

We, South-South Women, therefore commit ourselves to achieving these goals in our various capacities.

Conference resolution (men)

May 16, 1997

HIV/AIDS/STDs

Communication messages should be developed by GOs, NGOs, CBDs and all the relevant agencies, preferably in close collaboration for consistency and effectiveness.

Messages on HIV/AIDS/STD should be suitable to the receiver-clear, specific and simple. Appropriate traditional and modern media channels should be utilized.

Messages should be focused more on attitude and behaviour change. It must be suitable and culturally-sensitive based on research.

Development of messages should involve the target audience. There is a need to explore and use other innovative and creative forms of community.

Emphasis should be given to sharing of information and experiences through networking. Impact assessment should be carried out and documented and the results utilised in future. Use of PWA should be voluntarily utilised for information giving.

Family planning and other reproductive health

Family planning (FP) messages and information should be integrated (service delivery and IEC). FP communication medium should involve all relevant channels using integrated approach.

Issue of sustainability should be addressed at all levels of message and medium identification. Relevant traditional medium of communication should be enhanced and, where possible, incorporated in the conventional medium.

All relevant agencies should come out strongly and advocate for relevant and effective communication medium and strategies aimed at eradication of harmful traditional practices, in particular, FGM and enhancement of beneficial traditional practices.

Targeting of messages and information should be for both sexes.