Despite improvements in recent years, Afghanistan has some of the world’s worst health outcomes: 1 in every 77 live births results in maternal death, 1 in every 18 children dies before their 5th birthday, only 23 percent of women use modern contraception, and up to 44 percent of pregnant women suffer from anemia. In Afghanistan, SHOPS Plus supports the Afghanistan Social Marketing Organization (ASMO) to increase access to health information and life-saving maternal, child, and family planning products. Given women’s limited access to public spaces in Afghanistan, SHOPS Plus and ASMO are piloting an intervention in Kabul to train beauty parlor staff to conduct information, education, and communication activities related to key family planning and maternal and child health topics. Similar health interventions in countries such as Zambia and the United States have successfully improved health outcomes. To our knowledge, this is the first beauty parlor intervention on child health topics, the first in a conflict setting, and one of very few to be rigorously evaluated. The evaluation results will have global implications for surfacing innovative and novel private sector models, the feasibility of scale-up, and replicability in similar settings.
- What are the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of beauty parlor clients related to family planning and maternal and child health?
- What are challenges and opportunities with program implementation?
- What is the impact of the program on women’s knowledge, attitudes, discussions with their spouses, and practices?
The study is a mixed-method study with a randomized controlled trial (RCT) design. Study components include:
- A quantitative baseline survey with female beauty parlor clients to measure knowledge, attitudes, and practices of clients on family planning and maternal and child health topics covered in the intervention and inform pilot training and design.
- Qualitative in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with beauty parlor owners and staff at two intervention mid-points, that will create a feedback loop to inform continued adaptation of the intervention.
- A quantitative endline survey of beauty parlor clients after the intervention to evaluate the impact of the pilot on clients’ health knowledge, attitudes, and practices.
ASMO and SHOPS Plus will use the results to explore future scale-up of the intervention to other urban areas in Afghanistan and potential replicability in other similar settings.
Date of last update: February 2019