Collaborating to Inform and Adapt an SBC Multi-media Campaign in West Africa
To address critical health needs and fill a demonstrated research gap, USAID is working in West Africa through two sister projects, Breakthrough ACTION and Breakthrough RESEARCH, to deliver and evaluate a multi-media campaign called Merci Mon Héros (MMH), which means “thank you, my hero” in French. MMH collects, curates, and disseminates testimonial videos from young people and adult allies about their RH/FP realities, and how a “hero” in their life broke taboos and overcame social barriers to support them. The campaign aims to increase youth access to RH/FP information and services by addressing the social, cultural, and gender norms that pose barriers. Breakthrough ACTION and Breakthrough RESEARCH’s collaboration around the MMH campaign embodies the following CLA subcomponents: internal and external collaboration, relationships and networks, continuous learning + improvement, decision-making, M&E for learning, and adaptive management. MMH emerged as a key nexus for collaboration between the two projects. Where Breakthrough ACTION developed, implemented, and monitored the innovative multi-media SBC campaign, Breakthrough RESEARCH leaned into its mandate to explore and develop novel research and monitoring techniques to be incorporated into the campaign’s monitoring strategy, such as social listening and complexity-aware evaluation methods. In this way, Breakthrough ACTION received a ready-made external evaluator, without vested interest in the campaign’s outcome. Over the course of three years, Breakthrough RESEARCH and Breakthrough ACTION have engaged in joint learning and collaborative processes to monitor and refine delivery of the MMH campaign. The joint implementation and evaluation process has also helped to further understand and validate the effects of face-to-face engagement vs. online engagement in SBC programming.