Young Burundians tactical agency regarding sexual relations and decision making: From participatory research to evidence-based and practically relevant sexuality education

Summary

The combination of violence, poverty, low coverage of youth friendly SRHR services (YFS), contradictory messaging, insufficient information from parents, and low quality comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) contributes to increased risks for STI/HIV infections, early pregnancies, abortions, and staggering levels of sexual and gender based violence in Burundi. To effectively address these problems, detailed knowledge is needed on how young people navigate sexuality in intimate relations, and how they are supported or obstructed by (f)actors on various levels. Although literature exists on generic factors, little is known about the diverging causal pathways explaining outcomes. The Burundian government has recently validated a national module including three manuals to provide CSE in school, SRHR information at community level and YFS in health facilities. Yet, young people are known to have difficulties bringing into practice knowledge received through CSE. This study's objective is to generate in-depth knowledge on how power structures and social processes inhibit or enable the internalisation and application of SRHR knowledge and skills by young people in Burundi, and to translate these findings into strategies strengthening current interventions, and their evidence base. Our approach is participatory, mixed methods, intertwining an ethnographic study with a natural intervention experiment, and process evaluation. Young people will act as co-researchers. The results will be translated to policy recommendations, using collaborative workshops with young people, and relevant stakeholders. By filling the knowledge gap on causal pathways leading to SRHR outcomes, and the role of CSE in these, this study will inform interventions in and beyond Burundi.

Products

Publical information

  • J. Westeneng(2016): Does Sexuality Education in Burundi contribute to healthy sexual development
  • J. Westeneng, R. Reis(2017): Young Burundians tactical agency regarding sexual relations and decision making: From participatory research to evidence-based and practically relevant sexuality education

Details

Project number

W 08.560.004

Main applicant

Prof. dr. R. Reis

Affiliated with

NWO-SRHR

Team members

L. Belo, Dr. L.H. Berckmoes, A. Macumi, Dr. S. Neema, J. Nintutze, Prof. dr. R. Reis, Y. Ruzibiza, L. Uwumuremyi, J. Westeneng