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BRIEF April 17, 2018

Development Marketplace 2018: Honduras

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The winning Development Marketplace 2018 proposal from Internet Sexuality Information Services uses gamefied educational content and mobile phone interventions to teach adolescent boys and girls about teen dating violence.

Photo © ZonaSegura


Internet Sexuality Information Services | ZonaSegura: A Trauma-Informed Youth-Centered Innovative Solution to Teen Dating Violence Prevention


Project Summary:

Teen dating violence (TDV) is widely recognized as a form of gender-based violence throughout the world. UNICEF’s 2014 report, "A Statistical Snapshot of Violence Against Adolescent Girls" defines TDV as "...a pattern of controlling or violent behaviors by a current or former dating partner...that can, however, escalate into very serious forms of physical, emotional or sexual abuse." TDV is a significant issue in Honduras. According to the Guttmacher Institute, among 15-19-year-olds who have never been married, 28% report having experienced some type of abuse (psychological, physical or sexual) at the hands of their partner in the past year. While many laws that aim to protect women may exist, many women are unaware of their existence. Women also fear retaliation, isolation, and stigma if they report violence. Honduran youth are also voracious consumers of technology; the most recent data available demonstrates that technology use among Honduran teens in particular is widespread; it is estimated that nearly 90 percent of the population has access to at least one mobile phone.

Using technology as a platform for primary prevention of TDV, this project will educate and empower users about their rights, teach healthy relationship, gender equality, conflict resolution and will ultimately prevent TDV, all while ensuring privacy and confidentiality. YTH (youth + tech + health), with in-country partners at GOJoven Honduras and technical partners at GOJoven International/PHI, will work with youth to design ZonaSegura to increase young women and girls' (YWG) knowledge of their rights in Honduras relating to TDV, build self-efficacy for TDV prevention, and provide peer support. Our parallel SMS campaign will reach young men and boys (YMB) with targeted messages on health relationships, gender equality and address masculinity stereotypes. ZonaSegura will be a private and confidential digital platform linking youth to services and gamified educational content, allowing them the ability to contact trusted friends and family when they need support. Rooted in social-ecological model, Health Belief Model, and Social Cognitive Theories, ZonaSegura will be designed using youth-centered design, a methodology empowering young people to take active steps in addressing the biggest challenges in their lives. 


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Project Team:

Dr. Bhupendra Sheoran is a passionate public health expert with more than 20 years of experience serving vulnerable populations around the world. Now based in Oakland, Calif., Sheoran began his career as a medical doctor. He subsequently moved into public health and obtained an MBA in health management. He has since worked in Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the U.S. in varying roles with nonprofit agencies, the United Nations, and in academic institutions addressing the health needs of diverse populations. As Executive Director of YTH, Sheoran leads the organization to develop innovative solutions for youth health and wellness. He has designed, implemented, and evaluated many innovative technology and new media interventions. He also provides strategic capacity-building assistance to agencies that want to apply these technologies to their work especially in sexual and reproductive health focusing on youth.

Jinna Rosales is the Executive Director of GOJoven Honduras. She is a feminist leader in human rights and sexual and reproductive rights training, management, research and advocacy processes in Honduras. She began participating in training opportunities led by GOJoven Honduras Fellows in 2013, which strengthened her focus on the defense of the Sexual and Reproductive Rights of adolescents and youth. She is a trainer of trainers in the GOJoven model, is one of the national leaders in the Friedrich Ebert Foundation’s Change Agents program, and participates in Central American Women’s Fund (FCAM) trainings. She is currently undertaking a Masters in Demography and Development, and has an undergraduate degree in Social Work as well as eight years of experience and commitment to working with the most vulnerable populations to defend their rights, especially adolescents and youth.