Sweden signs two new contracts with SA

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    Marie Bergström and Bruce Forgrieve, Chairman of Shout-it-Now Photo: Swedish Embassy (cc)

On 23 January 2013 the Embassy of Sweden signed two new contracts with South African non-profit organisations, the South African Business Coalition on HIV & AIDS (SABCOHA) and Shout-it-Now.

SABCOHA, through a Sida grant of SEK 1,500,000 for one year, will collaborate with the University of Gothenburg to evaluate the implementation of workplace health systems in the context of South African government policy goals. National policy makes reference to the private health sector but fails to specifically address workplace health - a consumer of the private and public health sector. The workplace health sector is critical in the context of preventative health. From a systems perspective, SABCOHA has taken progressive steps towards addressing this gap through the development of a national web-based workplace health information system called Bizwell. Engagement of students from the University of Gothenburg and the University of the Witwatersrand strengthens short- and long-term ties between South Africa and Sweden. Value through knowledge and information exchange, skills development and sharing of good practice will not only benefit the two countries but offers the potential of expanding learning, curriculum and methodologies globally.

Shout-it-Now will work together with Uppsala University with a Sida grant of SEK 1,500,000 for one year to explore assessments and interventions aimed at improving gender equality and positively changing young men’s and women’s ideas of gender norms. The study aims to investigate attitudes, perceptions and behaviors around gender roles and gender-based violence among South African young men and women, and to develop a scale that will identify youth who could benefit from gender-focused interventions.  This will be done through an online program that will be designed and implemented to deliver key messages around gender norms and gender-based violence.  Pre- and post-test online surveys for both young men and women will be designed and implemented to gather information about attitudes, perceptions ad behaviors around gender roles and gender-based violence.

This collaboration would utilize the two Shout-It-Now HCT teams serving the Limpopo and Gauteng provinces as learning labs. While providing HIV/TB/MMC education and screening to 70,000 youth each year, new/existing gender scales will be developed/adapted for male and female clients to assess risk of gender inequality and unhealthy gender norms. Scales like the Gender-Equitable Males (GEM) Scale will be adapted and piloted to assess attitudes regarding gender roles in sexuality and sexual relationships, reproductive health and disease prevention, and intimate partner violence.