Process evaluation of school-based peer education for HIV prevention among Yemeni adolescents
In 2005, a survey was conducted among all the 27 high schools of Aden, which revealed low levels of knowledge on major prevention measures, and a high level of stigma and discrimination towards people living with HIV (PLWH). The results served as a baseline for implementing a school-based peer education intervention for HIV prevention in the 27 schools of Aden. In 2008, and after 3 years of implementation, a quasi-experimental evaluation was conducted, which revealed that the peer education intervention has succeeded in improving HIV knowledge and skills; and in decreasing stigmatization of PLWH. This process evaluation aims to give a deeper understanding of the quasi-experimental evaluation which was conducted in the 27 high schools of Aden, and to highlight the factors that facilitated or inhibited school peer education in such a conservative Muslim setting. Qualitative methodologies were pursued, where 12 focus group discussions and 12 in-depth interviews were conducted with peer educators, targeted students, school principals, social workers, and parents of peer educators. Results revealed that school-peer education was well received. There was an apparent positive effect on the life skills of peer educators, but the intervention had a lesser effect on targeted students. Key enabling factors have been the high quality of training for peer educators, supportive school principals, and acceptance of the intervention by parents. These findings are important for improving the life skills and peer education intervention at the school level, and in better planning and implementation of life skills and peer programmes at a national scale.
Keywords: school-based intervention, peer education, HIV prevention, process evaluation, Diffusion of Innovation, Yemen