The Parenting for Lifelong Health Digital (PLH Digital) project aims to convert the evidence-based, in-person version of Parenting for Lifelong Health for Teens (PLH for Teens) into a digital format. The PLH for Teens programme aims to foster better relationships between parents and their children by improving positive parenting skills, improving child behaviour, building social support for parents, strengthening financial coping and reducing parenting stress. After showing positive results in a cluster randomised trial conducted in South Africa with UNICEF and WHO from 2015-18, the programme has been translated into 16 languages and delivered by NGOs and governments to 180,000 families across 18 low-resource countries. Despite this rapid scale-up, the programme only reaches a fraction of those in need as they are currently delivered through in-person training. PLH Digital therefore aims to scale up the reach and impact of PLH for Teens by developing an app-based version of the programme.
The iterative development of a basic version of the app will be carried out with families in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya, and with parenting trainers at the NGO, Clowns Without Borders South Africa. The app will be tested in a pan-African randomised controlled trial to determine its efficacy.
This project is a collaborative effort between the Universities of Oxford and Cape Town, UNICEF HQ, UNICEF Internet of Good Things (IOGT), UNICEF Innocenti, WHO, Clowns Without Borders South Africa, Innovation in Development, Education and the Mathematical Sciences (IDEMS), and the African Maths Initiative (AMI), Kenya.