The Global Partnership to End Violence Evaluation Fund has granted £140,000 to evaluate the quality of delivery and impact of an evidence-based parenting programme for adolescents in Tanzania. Dr Jamie Lachman (co-PI) and team will use the FAIR (Furaha Adolescent Implementation Research) study to look at the way in which the international Parenting for Lifelong Health for Adolescents (PLH Teens) programme is implemented with 18,000 families in Tanzania, where it is known as Furaha Teens. FAIR will be an 18-month collaboration between the University of Oxford, the Tanzanian National Institute of Medical Research (Dr Joyce Wamoyi, co-PI), Pact Tanzania and Clowns Without Borders South Africa.
PLH Teens is a group-based intervention delivered by community facilitators to caregivers and their children aged 10-17 years. It is designed to address multiple risks for violence against children in the home and community by improving parent-child communication, positive parenting and supervision, and parent and adolescent mental health. At the same time the intervention seeks to decrease corporal punishment, family conflict, financial insecurity and adolescent risky behaviours. Families are assisted in developing child safety plans, reporting abuse and accessing medical and social services. The PLH programmes were first developed in South Africa by Oxford and other partners, and has been rapidly disseminated to over 28 low and middle income countries, reaching approximately 500,000 families, including over 80,000 beneficiaries in Tanzania starting in 2017.
In 2020 PLH Teens will be delivered to 18,200 adolescent girls and their caregivers in Tanzania by Pact and local community service organisations in Tanzania, as part of the USAID funded Kizazi Kipya Project. The team aims to advance Sustainable Development Goal 16.2 which calls for the end of abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence and torture against children. They also aim to advance our knowledge of how implementation quality and fidelity of parenting programmes and other violence prevention initiatives can be sustained at scale in low-resource settings. In Tanzania 73% of females and 71% of males aged 13-24 have experienced physical violence before 18. Caregivers and other adult relatives are the most commonly reported perpetrators of physical and emotional violence against children, with corporal punishment considered normal. There is considerable evidence that parenting programmes reduce violence by improving parent-child relationships, and by encouraging positive parenting strategies. PLH-Teens is one of the few low-cost parenting interventions that has been rigorously tested in low and middle income settings.
Co-principal investigator, Lachman, says: "We are thrilled to be selected by the Evaluation Fund to apply implementation science in order to study how best to take a parenting programme to scale while maintaining quality delivery and effectiveness . We are also very excited to be continuing to work with our research partners at the National Institute for Medical Research to build the research capacity of Pact Tanzania and other implementing partners."