Funding Agency: United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
Partners: Private Sector Foundation – Uganda (PSFU)
Project Duration: January – June 2020
The Spotlight Initiative is a global initiative of the United Nations whose aim is to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.
In Uganda, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) partnered with the Private Sector Foundation (PSFU) to institutionalize gender norms and address workplace gender-based violence in the private sector enterprises which had largely been left out in previous interventions.
Through the Spotlight Initiative, Rocket Health private telemedicine and digital health enterprise were selected to take part in this program.
We implemented digital innovations within the workplace setting for staff and other audiences to access quality health services including sexual and reproductive health, telecounseling, and credible health information.
Our solution leveraged digital channels for health information dissemination on gender-based violence (GBV) awareness creation.
Content on various GBV topics like identification, reporting, care of survivors, etc was developed and disseminated via mobile phone messages.
Users accessed it by sending the keyword ‘GBV’ to 8080 prepaid shortcodes. In addition, the self-service e-Shop (www.rockethealth.shop) was stocked with sexual and reproductive health products to ensure confidential and private access.
Activities implemented under the project:
Social media awareness campaigns
We leveraged social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter) as communication channels to engage target audiences in GBV conversations.
This involved designing graphics materials on GBV and posting them to create conversations and responses were always offered in real-time.
In addition, social media platforms were utilised for awareness campaigns in the form of Twitter sessions where experts on GBV were hosted for an online conversation.
Mobile health information dissemination
Mobile messages on GBV themes including; awareness, prevention, care, and support were disseminated through the project’s SMS shortcode 8080.
Beneficiaries including Rocket Health staff and wider audiences accessed it by sending the keyword ‘GBV’ to 8080.
Over the 6 months period, 1,936 beneficiaries subscribed to the GBV mobile health content.
The majority of the beneficiaries were males (78%) with 36.36% of the beneficiaries inquiring about what GBV meant and the different forms.
20.20% of the inquiries were on where one could report cases of GBV, 16.16% were on understanding what GBV at the workplace encompasses while 2.02% were on the causes of GBV.
25.25% of the inquiries were on other topics that ranged from the beneficiaries appreciating the information disseminated through the messages received on GBV to asking about how PEP is used and its effectiveness in protecting one from getting HIV.
Following the formulation of the company’s sexual harassment policy, Rocket Health staff received training on workplace sexual harassment from Frauen a non-governmental organization that supports sexual harassment survivors.
- The high number (1,936) of beneficiaries that subscribed to the mobile health content on GBV is an indicator of the feasibility and appropriateness of mobile technologies as an ideal channel for GBV communication and awareness creation in a working population.
- There is a need to have GBV training workshops to equip individuals with knowledge on gender-based violence and tools on how to combat it. This was evident from the large number (55.9%) of inquiries being related to awareness and knowledge acquisition.
- Few workplaces have had training on gender-based violence as noted by the 15% response to inquiries on this during week 2. This means that there is a need to take GBV training to workplaces in order to address this vice. Also, the project’s ability to conduct workplace sessions on gender and sexual harassment was limited due to the COVID 19 outbreak.
- Mobile health platforms have shown their versatility in meeting users’ needs as noted by the diversity in inquiries i.e. COVID-19, sexual and reproductive health among others. These inquiries were either remotely resolved or referred and followed for outcomes.