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Stemming HIV in Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe, HIV prevalence rates are at 15%, meaning that there is an estimated 12% infection rate for men, and 18% for women.
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Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) has been found to have a protective effect of 60 percent against contracting HIV. Population Services International (PSI) Zimbabwe's strategic goal was to contribute to the reduction of HIV incidence by scaling up VMMC to reach 80% of HIV negative men between 13-29 years, by 2017. To achieve this PSI currently circumcises about 10,000 men and adolescents countrywide every month and needs to change behaviour.

ThinkPlace worked with PSI to co-facilitate a 4 day workshop to help them to incorporate human-centred principles in designing solutions that would encourage men to make the decision to get Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) thereby reducing the rate of HIV transmission in Zimbabwe. These workshops and subsequent prototypes would form that basis of PSI’s marketing and communication strategy in Zimbabwe.

Using existing research and segmentation, participants were led through a client archetype creation exercise which allowed them to understand their key target segments, in a more human way. By understanding each segment’s barriers to VMMC and by leveraging their intrinsic motivators, participants created three main client archetypes. The archetypes, Zivia: The Enthusiast, Bongani: The Follower and Tinashe: The Independent allowed participants to connect with their targets. With a better understanding of their clients, participants went through an extensive ideation and concept development process to address their client’s needs and barriers including: the need for support during the entire VMMC process, more information regarding the procedure throughout their journey, better explanation of both functional and emotional benefits, more honest communication regarding the pain that would be experienced and the need to address their personal motivators (such as sex appeal) to encourage more men to take up VMMC.

Concepts were taken forward for a further prototyping workshop and the findings of both research by IPSOS and the results from ThinkPlace’s HCD led workshops, have given PSI Zimbabwe a fresh and empathetic way of designing innovative marketing interventions that will lead to increase behaviour change in their target segments.

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Population Services International (PSI)

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