What we did
IRH developed a set of eight SRH indicators covering puberty and pregnancy risk knowledge, SRH services, access to attitudes about gender roles and expectations, teasing and bullying, and social support. These indicators were integrated into the DAP and adapted to the local context in Northern Uganda. We randomly selected 14 primary and secondary schools in Gulu district in northern Uganda to administer the survey among 1000 girls and boys aged 10 to 14.
Northern Uganda is a region that has been greatly affected by a 20 year civil war, which ended in 2008. Results of the extended conflict left the area with high levels of poverty and gender-based violence, limited educational and economic opportunities, deterioration of social structures, and separation of families.
What the survey said
We found out that individual and social assets are significantly linked to sexual and reproductive health outcomes. The majority of girls and boys, 61%, had scores falling in the two highest categories, Thriving and Adequate. Almost a quarter of the girls as compared to 12% of boys report having supportive relationships. Similarly, 72% of girls have accurate knowledge of puberty as compared to only about half of boys.
Not only did the girls have better SRH outcomes than boys but of the 38 items that had significant correlations with SRH outcomes, 16 of them were for girls only and 8 for boys only. Assets measuring Commitment to Learning and Social Competencies were each significantly correlated with seven of the eight SRH outcomes (including condom knowledge, including knowledge that condoms can prevent HIV/can prevent pregnancy).
Girls who had scores at the Thriving and Adequate levels had:
60% greater odds than girls at the Challenged or Vulnerable asset levels to have accurate puberty knowledge
94% greater odds than girls at the Challenged and Vulnerable asset levels to believe they can access SRH services
55% greater odds than girls at the Challenged or Vulnerable asset levels to intend to delay sex until marriage or use condoms
Boys who scored at the Thriving or Adequate levels had increased odds of better health outcomes. These boys had:
88% greater odds than boys at the Challenged or Vulnerable asset levels to have accurate HIV knowledge
72% greater odds than boys at the Challenged and Vulnerable asset levels to have condom knowledge
93% greater odds than boys at the Challenged or Vulnerable asset levels to intend to delay sex until marriage or use condoms
Girls with the highest asset scores compared to all other girls were more likely to have accurate condom knowledge and condom knowledge, and to have a trusted adult to talk to about puberty and romantic feelings. Boys with the highest asset scores were twice as likely as all other boys to report having a trusted adult to talk to about these topics.