Credit: Rachel Grellier/Options

Qualitative evaluation of the HIV prevention and control in rural development enclaves project

Population Services International (PSI) has been working in Papua New Guinea to counter stigma against condoms, build condom skills, increase risk perception of HIV and other STIs, increase social support around HIV, and improve marital relationship satisfaction and communication. Options led a rapid Participatory Ethnographic Evaluation Research (PEER) study to qualitatively evaluate PSI’s Tokaut na Tokstret Marital Relationship training (TnT MRT) in three sites in Papua New Guinea. During the TnT MRT  four‐day workshop married couples aged between 20‐39 were provided with a range of information and skills with the aim of decreasing the proportion of people who have multiple, concurrent sexual partnerships; and increasing the proportion of sexually‐active men who consistently use condoms with their non‐cohabitating partners.

Through highly participatory and culturally appropriate ethnographic techniques the evaluation explored the sustained impact of the training on married couples, their families and the broader communities. The research was able to provide rich insights to understand changes in relationships as a result of the training. The research found that PSI/PNG had developed an innovative and potentially ground‐breaking training package that addressed the fundamental causes (rather than the consequences) of men and women seeking concurrent sexual partners outside marriage, gender‐based violence, and the breakdown of marriages and households. In addition to reducing gender‐based violence, sexual concurrency and increasing condom use, an unexpected result of MRT was the wider benefit to households and communities particularly the positive impact on children.

Recommendations were made by Options at the end of the evaluation report as to how the MRT curriculum can be strengthened, improved and sustained. 

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