BRIEF April 17, 2018

Development Marketplace 2018: South Africa

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The winning Development Marketplace 2018 proposal from Human Sciences Research Council evaluates a walking school bus as a school-related gender-based violence intervention. 

Photo © Zaynab Essack


Human Sciences Research Council | Evaluating a Walking School Bus as a School-Related Gender-Based Violence Intervention 


Project Summary:

The journey between home and school has attracted considerable media attention in South Africa. In KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), a largely rural province where this proposed work will be conducted, learners continue to walk long distances to school. The school journey is potentially dangerous since learners must navigate treacherous terrain and inclement weather as well as risk being kidnapped, physically attacked, mugged, and/or sexually abused. This long journey means children also arrive late at their classrooms and are unable to focus, potentially impacting their academic outcomes. The proposed mixed methods study with early adolescents in grades 5-7 (approximately 10-14 years old) will be conducted in three public primary schools, in three separate but matched communities in KZN, South Africa.


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Project Team:

Zaynab Essack, PhD, is a Research Psychologist and a Senior Research Specialist for the Human and Social Development Program, at the HSRC, South Africa. She manages multi-method and multinational social science research, with a focus on vulnerable (key) populations, including men who have sex with men (MSM) and adolescents and young women. Zaynab is a co-Principal Investigator on a mixed methods evaluation of a Cash Plus Care intervention and an intervention to interrupt underage drinking. Essack convenes a research ethics module on informed consent for the South African Research Ethics Training Initiative (SARETI), and collaborates with the HIV AIDS Vaccines Ethics Group to develop resources related to HIV prevention research with adolescents. She is an Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Law, University of KwaZulu-Natal.