For Happy Moments

Summary

A series of materials including two TV spots, four radio spots, and a collection of outdoor and press advertisements promoting modern contraceptive methods. In Albania, couples’ use of modern contraceptive methods (MCM) is the lowest in the region. Research shows high reliance on traditional means of family planning (FP) such as withdrawal, and on abortion in the event of unwanted pregnancies. A PRO Shendetit 2005 survey results indicate low levels of contraceptive knowledge among both men and women of reproductive age. Forty percent had not heard of injectable contraception, while 60 percent had not heard of intrauterine devices (IUDs). Initially, C-Change focused on communication activities that increase awareness of FP services in the private and public sectors, counter misconceptions about methods, and improve informed choice. The program’s goal is to increase the use of MCM among young adults and decrease reliance on withdrawal and other traditional methods using a mix of strategies and channels, including mass media and community-based interpersonal communication (IPC) among university students, pharmacists and journalists.

Research & Testing

Research with students, pharmacists, and journalists in Albania suggested urban singles and couples aged 18–35 underutilized available modern contraceptive methods. Interviews with health care providers and consumers found misconceptions regarding contraceptive products and services. Baseline data on knowledge, beliefs, and use of traditional and modern methods of contraception among university students was collected in three cities. C-Change also conducted focus groups to explore socio-cultural factors influencing behaviors of student population, particularly access to modern contraception. Students felt pharmacists and health providers were reluctant to talk to them and were judgmental when they sought contraceptive information. Women reported fear of side effects of oral contraceptives and emergency contraception. The C-Change mass media campaign aimed to raise awareness of modern contraceptive products available in Albania and increase acceptance among young men and women in urban areas. The theme of the first year of the campaign was “Enjoy life, enjoy love. Use modern contraceptives... for happy moments” and appeared on a 40-second TV spot, three radio spots, and print materials (a poster, newspaper ad, and an outdoor billboard). In 2010, C-Change/Albania launched a second mass media campaign “a Happy Life” building on the theme of the first campaign, including one television spot, one radio spot, and print materials in major Albania newspapers, on buses and in other public areas.
The campaign materials focused on the safety and reliability of modern contraceptives and corrected common misperceptions that surfaced in the baseline survey. All campaign materials were carefully pre-tested with members of the target audience and input and buy-in sought from key stakeholders in Albania.

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Monitoring & Evaluation

This report presents findings of an evaluation survey of two C-Change social and behavior change interventions in Albania to promote modern family planning methods. It assessed the impact of a peer education program for young university students at four urban campuses in Albania, along with a concurrent mass media campaign. An evaluation of the program found that sexually active students exposed to C-Change's peer education program were over two times more likely to report that they used modern contraceptive methods as those not exposed to the program. Exposure to both the peer education program and the TV messages of the national media campaign increased this awareness more than fourfold, compared to those not exposed to both interventions.

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