Population Services International (PSI), in coordination with the Government of Rwanda through the Ministry of Health, and with funding support from USAID, commenced the process of creating the Society for Family Health (SFH), a Rwandan social marketing organization whose capacity PSI will build to lead social marketing program implementation in Rwanda.
PSI, in coordination with the Government of Rwanda, appointed the board members for SFH in 2011. SFH had its statute notarized by the Government in March 2011, and was fully registered as a national non-governmental organization in February 2012.
Between the time of notarization and full registration, PSI began to develop the operating systems, policies and procedures, and program structures to enable SFH to begin operations immediately after full registration.
SFH will start to operate in April 2012, with initial funding from PSI to implement the Global Fund Malaria Single Stream program activities and components of the USAID funded BCSM program. SFH anticipates rapid growth as it demonstrates good performance and secures more donor funding.
Transitioning from PSI to SFH
Like every other organization, SFH will be going through the organizational life cycle. Initially, PSI will assist SFH with the set up of operating systems, development of policies and manuals, staffing, acquisition of assets and initial funding through sub-granting of some existing PSI projects to SFH. This phase is expected to last the whole of 2012 and will involve regular monitoring and auditing of SFH operations. In the second phase, which will begin in 2013, SFH will seek direct funding from donors to scale up its operations. During this phase, PSI will continue to support SFH with assets, staff, program implementation, and management of the Rwandan partner organizations and the Youth Centres. By 2014, focus will be placed on systems to ensure SFH consolidates its gains of the past years, strengthens linkages with government partner programs, and documents and shares lessons and best practices with key stakeholders in and outside of Rwanda. SFH is expected to lead the implementation of social marketing programs in Rwanda at this phase, but will remain part of the PSI global network to guarantee continuous access to global best practices and lessons.
SFH is a non-profit corporation, established in 2012 under the laws of Rwanda. SFH is organized exclusively for educational and scientific purposes, with primary focus in public health. No profits or
1 HIV&AIDS: SFH’s HIV program includes social marketing of HIV products and services and targeted HIV communication activities which combine mass media, interpersonal communication (IPC), community mobilization, and advocacy. As part of the HIV prevention program, SFH will implement social marketing of branded condoms. Initially SFH will act as the principal agent for the distribution of the PSI’s established brands and will introduce new brands if the need arises in the future.
The HIV interventions will include HIV counseling and testing, STIs and TB screening, male circumcision, prevention of mother-to-child transmission, and family planning/HIV integration and collectively comprise a complete package of services to reduce HIV transmission among youth and MARPs.
2 Malaria: SFH/Rwanda provides malaria control support to Ministry of Health. SFH’s malaria control programs will include delivery of insecticide treated mosquito nets, pre-packaged malaria treatment, social and behaviour change communications on prevention and treatment, communications on household indoor residual spraying (IRS) and operational research.
3 Safe Water: SFH will act at PSI’s principal distribution agent in Rwanda for its two point-of-use safe water products: Sur’Eau and PUR. Sur’Eau is a 1.25% sodium hypochlorite solution which is used to disinfect water at low cost; one bottle of Sur’Eau can treat 1,000 liters of water. PUR not only disinfects water, but it also binds with particulate matter which settles to the bottom of a bucket and can be filtered out, leaving clean and clear water that is safe to drink. Each sachet of PUR powder treats 10 liters of water.
4 Reproductive Health: SFH empowers women and couples to lead healthier lives by providing access to family planning and maternal health products and services. In partnership with the Ministry of Health and donors, SFH will provide family planning products and services through training, community outreach and multi-media campaigns on family planning methods to increase access to family planning and to overcome the barriers that prevent women from using modern contraceptives. A package of Adolescent Reproductive Health will be provided to adolescents through youth centers managed in collaboration with Rwanda National Youth Council (RNYC) and MINIYOUTH.
5 Nutrition: SFH will support key components of the implementation of Strategy 6 (behavior change communication) of Rwanda’s National Multi-sectoral Strategy to Eliminate Malnutrition. Through donor funding, SFH will be providing technical assistance to the Ministry of Health in coordination with other partners to develop high quality printed materials, design and support radio programs, and explore the use of the existing network of Rwandan Partner Organizations structure to support the nutrition program implementation.
6 Research, Monitoring & Evaluation (RM&E): SFH uses research, monitoring and evaluation to improve interventions by giving program staff the information they need for evidence-based decision making. Performance is measured by the effectiveness of interventions in changing behaviors, equity in the practice of those behaviors, and the cost-effectiveness of interventions in terms of the unit cost of delivering outputs per disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) gained. To achieve this, SFH will use proven social marketing methodologies which are used by PSI around the world
1 Office Structure: The Society for Family Health has its headquarters in Kigali and five regional offices located at Musanze (North), Muhanga (West), Huye (South), Ngoma (East) and Gasabo (Central). Each regional office covers average of six districts and equipped with at least one vehicle, mobile video unit (MVU), and other tools for effective engagement with the target.
2 Staff Structure: Most of the SFH staffs have been previously trained by PSI in social marketing, finance and operations, social and behaviour change communications (SBCC) and research, and therefore are highly qualified and experienced. There are four staff members per region on average, and a team of six staff at the headquarters. As SFH increases operations in Rwanda, the staff size will increase proportionately.
3 Program Structure: The SFH program is national in outlook with focused intervention among the most at risk populations (MARPs). The SFH communication programs are at three levels: mass media, mid-mass media and community level communication activities. Product distribution will be primarily through the private sector and also through the CBOs such as the association of community health workers. The implementation strategy is a combination of direct implementation by SFH staff, implementation through Rwandan partner organizations and implementation through community based institutions such as women’s Associations, youth clubs, and community health workers.