Using Formative Research and Social Marketing to Decrypt and Fix a Wicked Problem in Conflict Affected Cameroon: A case study

2021-09-09 africa evidence week 2021 blog informs learns news
Using Formative Research and Social Marketing to Decrypt and Fix a Wicked Problem in Conflict Affected Cameroon: A case study


With funding from the French Embassy in Yaoundé, Cameroon, eBASE Africa is Using Formative Research and Social Marketing to Decrypt and Fix a Wicked Problem in Conflict Affected Cameroon. Even with the challenging conditions of conflict and COVID-19 pandemic the eBASE Africa team is working towards the implementation of every activity to create safe spaces for girls, women, and vulnerable population especially in conflict affected areas.

Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) refers to any act that is perpetrated against a person’s will and is based on gender norms and unequal power relationships. It includes physical, emotional, or psychological and sexual violence as well as denial of resources or access to services. For example, men battering women, forcing women and girls to have sex and even revenge porn. Regardless of the increasing awareness around the issue of violence against women, Cameroon still has one of the worst statistics globally with an alarming rate of 51% lifetime prevalence of physical and/or sexual violence between intimate partners, 33% prevalence of physical and/or sexual violence between intimate partners in the past 12 months, a lifetime prevalence of non-spousal sexual violence, a 31% child marriage rate, and a 1% prevalence of genital mutilation. These statistics are among the worst in Africa and globally. The situation has been further exacerbated by the multiple conflicts currently affecting Cameroon and the COVID pandemic affecting the world. In Cameroon, recent laws have been enacted to stem the ills of SGBV. However, educational systems are not effective in protecting girls from predating lecturers, and girls are made vulnerable by cultural practices and laws, with the legal systems being weak in prosecuting perpetrators of SGBV, and this is compounded by the weak health systems not prepared in providing post SGBV services. Therefore, there’s the difficulty in finding reliable and harmonized data on the prevalence of gender-based violence. These data are even more scare in the conflict context as most SGBV cases remain unreported.

The pilot project uses a mix of innovation and best practices to design and implement life changing interventions that will make communities safer for vulnerable groups including girls, children, people with disabilities, and LGBTQIs. These strategies include:

  1. Systematic review of cases, innovations, policies, and movements of SGBV
  2. A formative study on enablers, perpetrators, mitigators, and cultural contributions of SGBV
  3. Capacity building for community health workers on the collection of 3D geospatial data (time, space, and voice)
  4. A cyberhealth platform that will collect real-time crowd data on systematically reviewed and selected SGBV indicators and provide access to clinical, psychosocial, and legal services for victims through mobile phones
  5. A culturally appropriate approach of storytelling for non-literate populations for the mitigation and sensitization on SGBV
  6. School clubs to promote knowledge on existing evidence, policies, ad available clinical, psychosocial, and legal services
  7. Community radio programs in the form of short plays, jingles, and debates to sensitize and educate the population on the ills of SGBV

This pilot project will be assessing the acceptability ad feasibility of the interventions. It will also be exploring the promise for a subsequent high-quality trial and promising outcomes of measure.

Our hope is that girls will feel safer and have a safe environment for growth and development and will be protected during conflict. Negative traditional ways of SGBV are not passed on to the next generation and girls and boys are able to handle cyber bullying and revenge porn.

To keep you posted with unfolding results please follow us on twitter @eBASE_Africa and @ForkumTatianne.

The views expressed in published blog posts, as well as any errors or omissions, are the sole responsibility of the author/s and do not represent the views of the Africa Evidence Network, its secretariat, advisory or reference groups, or its funders; nor does it imply endorsement by the afore-mentioned parties.