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Community resistance to a peer education programme in Zimbabwe

Campbell, Catherine, Scott, Kerry, Mupambireyi, Zivai, Nhamo, Mercy, Nyamukapa, Constance, Skovdal, Morten and Gregson, Simon (2014) Community resistance to a peer education programme in Zimbabwe. BMC Health Services Research, 14 (1). ISSN 1472-6963

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Identification Number: 10.1186/s12913-014-0574-5


Background: This paper presents community perceptions of a state-of-the-art peer education programme in Manicaland, Zimbabwe. While the intervention succeeded in increasing HIV knowledge among men and condom acceptability among women, and reduced HIV incidence and rates of unprotected sex among men who attended education events, it did not succeed in reducing population-level HIV incidence. To understand the possible reasons for this disappointing result, we conducted a qualitative study of local perspectives of the intervention. Methods: Eight focus group discussions and 11 interviews with 81 community members and local project staff were conducted. Transcripts were interrogated and analysed thematically. Results: We identified three factors that may have contributed to the programme’s disappointing outcomes: (1) difficulties of implementing all elements of the programme, particularly the proposed income generation component in the wider context of economic strain; (2) a moralistic approach to commercial sex work by programme staff; and (3) limitations in the programme’s ability to engage with social realities facing community members. Conclusions: We conclude that externally-imposed programmes that present new information without adequately engaging with local realities and constraints on action can be met by resistance to change.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 BioMed Central
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2016 10:01
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:13
Projects: 084401/Z/07/Z
Funders: Wellcome Trust, World Bank

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