The intervention recipe
HETTAS’ experience in prevention education offers a range of strategic responses to help partners develop and improve prevention programmes in a variety of settings and using a participatory approach with partners. HETTAS follows the same basic approach when operating in the field—especially so when adopting a cascade model.
- Advocacy: Help leaders consider their organisation’s strategic and operational requirements. Ideally this process includes providing briefing to the larger community to achieve buy-in and support.
- Situation Analysis and Intervention Design: Assess potential, challenges, opportunities, and constraints and design programmes for specific contexts;
- Training and Technical Assistance: Conduct training workshops for administrators, trainers, community/youth facilitators, supervisors and peer educators in the context of commitment to on-going technical assistance;
- Materials Development: Adapt and develop curricula, training materials, and other tools;
- Monitoring and Evaluation: Assist organisations in developing M&E systems to monitor indicators specifically designed for prevention education and peer education.
Prevention education (Trainer training)
In this setting, adult trainers undergo intensive training from HETTAS on a range of issues related to prevention education, theories underpinning the curricula and they become familiar with the curricula themselves. Over the past two years this has become a preferred mode of implementation especially considering the knowledge base regarding sexual reproductive health that is required to fully utilise the various curricula.
Once trainers have been trained they, then train up youth facilitators on the curricula concerned. In this model young adults (youth facilitators) from the community−based organisations are tasked to implement Vhutshilo and will facilitate the programme directly with youth groups.
So, unlike peer education, this is a cascade form of training and is an adult-led intervention.
Peer education training
Originally HETTAS made use of the peer education model. Adult trainers (HETTAS peer educator trainers) would work with a group of selected peer educators (normally youth who are one or two years older than the targeted youth) and supervisors selected from the organisation to train, prepare and practise the curriculum. These selected and trained peer educators would then implement the sessions under direct supervision of their supervisor within a school or drop-in centre/community setting.
Some of the sessions themes include: Sexual abuse, Avoiding dangerous people and places, relationships, sex and relationships, emotions and situations, delaying sex, choosing to wait, dealing with grief and loss, expressing feelings, Free to feel, understanding physical and emotional changes, living with change, future planning, making social change happen, and making good decisions in difficult situations. HETTAS draws form the multitude of sessions that have been developed over the years especially those focusing on prevention education, life skills and risk reduction goals.
HETTAS acts as a national resource initiating improvements in how prevention education is used in the field. Based on an understanding of the methodology's strengths and weaknesses, the needs of different populations, and the experiences of its partners, HETTAS convenes diverse groups of expert practitioners, policy makers, and researchers to develop materials it then makes available with appropriate training.