Creative Consulting & Development Works recently had the pleasure to complete a fascinating research study for a remarkable client, FHI360. Our research team travelled to Ingwavuma Northern Kwa-Zulu Natal, on 22nd of January 2018 to present the findings of the completed Synergy Study. The Study was Funded by America’s FHI360 and implemented by local NGO Zisize Educational Trust.
The Synergy Study is a yearlong qualitative research study to evaluate Accelerating Strategies for Practical Innovation and Research in Economic Strengthening (ASPIRES) programming designed for vulnerable youth based in disadvantaged communities. The aim of the study was to explore how psychological, behavioral, economic and social factors interact to affect HIV risk behaviors in adolescent girls and boys enrolled in the ASPIRES programme. The programme has five different components within it, and these cover different topics like, how to use and save money, how to protect yourself from HIV & AIDS, etc.
In our presentation our research team focused on the key benefits of the programme reported by the ASPIRES learners where qualitative data was collected in the field during the course of the programme throughout the year. Three key themes emerged in the self-reported benefit discussions with learners. These included ASPIRES giving the learners a sense of direction; ASPIRES taught learners about financial literacy and how to foster a culture of saving and finally ASPIRES taught the learners about self respect and how to handle themselves around other people.
The presentation was received with great enthusiasm within the community. Teachers, Facilitators and Zisize staff contributed to the discussion and shared their appreciation in receiving the findings of the Study. What a pleasure to work with a dynamic and thoughtful community so engaged in the study. The community had a range of questions and these were answered and grounded in a practical emphasis on learning outcomes.The team also used the opportunity to encourage learners, teachers, and caregivers to continue practicing positive behaviors learnt from the programme in their communities in future.
There was a small awards ceremony that took place after findings were presented. These awards were met with great excitement by all involved. It was a very touching and encouraging moment when the attendees, and in particular the parents and caregivers of the learners, noted a positive behavior change in the learners since they had begun the programme.
There was an overwhelming appreciation towards the Creative Consulting & Development Works team who had returned to Ingwavuma to share findings and consider learnings. As this was the first time a programme of this nature had been implemented in the area a feeling of pride and achievement was evident.
Our research team are so grateful for the opportunity to have worked with such an appreciative community of learners and a truly special and supportive client, FHI360. The experience was insightful and inspired and motivated our team. We look forward to working on similar projects in future to further develop a culture of continuous innovation that can deliver better learning in financial literacy.
Thank you community of Ingwavuma and all the wonderful learners who participated in the SYNERGY study! Thank you FHI360 (Greg Guest, Amy O’Regan, Meredith McCann) – it was such a pleasure to work with each of you! Thank you to Zisize Educational Trust and particularly Andrew Ganizani Sitima. Thank you to the entire Creative Consulting & Development Research team under the guidance of Susannah Clarke and Senior Evaluator, Leanne Adams, supported by Mkhululi Mnyaka, Itumeleng Romano, Carmen Sylvestor, our dedicated fieldworkers, and all the others who were involved in this two year study, for their sterling work on this important assignment.
To discuss your research needs kindly contact Susannah Clarke, Research & Evaluation Director, or Lindy Briginshaw, CEO of Creative Consulting & Development Works: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
More on ASPIRES:
The Accelerating Strategies for Practical Innovation and Research in Economic Strengthening (ASPIRES) project is managed by FHI 360, a non-profit human development organization. ASPIRES supports evidence-based, gender-sensitive programming to improve the economic security and well-being outcomes of vulnerable families and children, particularly those infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS, and others at high risk of acquiring HIV. ASPIRES is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
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