Project Description

DREAMS impact evaluation


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. science-based public health and disease prevention agency, plays an essential role in implementing the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

DREAMS – funded by CDC/PEPFAR – is an ambitious partnership to reduce HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in 10 sub-Saharan African countries. The goal of DREAMS is to help girls develop into Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe women.

Epicentre is tasked to evaluate the impact of DREAMS on HIV incidence in four implementation districts in South Africa: eThekwini and uMgungundlovu (KwaZulu-Natal), and Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni (Gauteng).

So far, Epicentre has been conducting the following:

  • Writing the study protocol for the DREAMS impact evaluation together with collaborating partners from universities and research institutions.
  • Developing questionnaires for the structured interviews, as well as guides for the focus group discussions.
  • Obtaining ethical approval for the study from the Biomedical Research Ethics Committee and ethics committees from the district Departments of Health.
  • Recruitment, training and management of field staff (mid 2017, about 70 fieldworkers, about 30 drivers and 6 supervisors).
  • Made a start with the field work for the first cross-sectional survey (mid 2017). About 18,500 adolescent girls and young women will be interviewed (12-24 years) as well as a parent/caregiver of those under 18 years. Biological specimens (blood and vaginal swabs) will be collected. Repeated surveys will be conducted after 1 and 2 years.

The results of the DREAMS impact evaluation will be triangulated with those of two other studies that Epicentre is currently conducting:

  • The impact evaluation of the Global Fund young women and girls intervention in ten South African districts for the South African Medical Research Council. For this study two cross-sectional surveys will be conducted (2017 and 2019) each with about 14 000 girls and women aged 10-24 years in Bojanala (North West Province), City of Cape Town (Western Cape), Ehlanzeni (Mpumalanga), Gert Sibande (Mpumalanga), Greater Sekhukhune (Limpopo), OR Tambo (Eastern Cape), Nelson Mandela Bay (Eastern Cape), Tshwane (Gauteng Province), Uthungulu (KwaZulu-Natal), and Zululand (KwaZulu-Natal).
  • Understanding the perspectives of male partners of adolescent girls and young women, and effectiveness of strategies to link them to HIV services: Implementation Science research for the DREAMS Initiative in South Africa. This study is conducted on behalf of Population Council and tries to understand characteristics and perspectives of male partners of adolescent girls and young women, including sexual relationship dynamics, HIV risk perceptions, and what men want from HIV services. The study will be conducted in eThekwini district and include baseline and endline surveys in which up to 1,000 men aged 20-40 will be interviewed as well as focus group discussions. Find more information on this study in the activity brief.

Read an article here on the collaboration between Epicentre and Mobenzi for the DREAMS impact evaluation.

For DREAMS impact evaluation
Epicentre collaborates with: