The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
AP, SL, AS, DP, AG, SM, DR, CS, RT, KK, and CM were involved in desiging the study and the intervention content and monitoring systems. AP, SL, AS, DP, SM, DR, RT, KL, TD, XGO, KK and CM were involved in intervention implementation. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Community mobilization (CM) interventions show promise in changing gender norms and preventing HIV, but few have been based on a defined mobilization model or rigorously evaluated. The purpose of this paper is to describe the intervention design and implementation and present baseline findings of a Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) of a two-year, theory-based CM intervention that aimed to change gender norms and reduce HIV risk in rural Mpumalanga province, South Africa.
Community Mobilizers and volunteer Community Action Teams (CATs) implemented two-day workshops, a range of outreach activities, and leadership engagement meetings. All activities were mapped onto six theorized mobilization domains. The intervention is being evaluated by a randomized design in 22 communities (11 receive intervention). Cross-sectional, population-based surveys were conducted with approximately 1,200 adults ages 18–35 years at baseline and endline about two years later.
This is among the first community RCTs to evaluate a gender transformative intervention to change norms and HIV risk using a theory-based, defined mobilization model, which should increase the potential for impact on desired outcomes and be useful for future scale-up if proven effective.