A most simple yet fundamental rationale and insight from a young Kenyan girl.
I run Triggerise Connect – Triggerise’s Insights unit and understanding these rationales is critical to what I do.
The question is, why do we – as in we the development industry – target girls with family planning? And most importantly, What can we do to change her perception? This is probably the most fundamental, yet basic barrier to girls engaging with any methods of contraception.
Have you noticed that the Insurance industry has sure picked up on similar insights. It’s not called “Death Cover”, it’s called “Life cover”. It is not “disability insurance” but an “Income Protection plan”.
Now that you mention it, I may need income protection.
Being relevant to our audience is something we all strive to do. But if we don’t start at the most basic level, no matter how youth friendly the clinic is, no matter how kind or welcoming the provider is, it won’t matter because we haven’t even got the young girl to the clinic!
Taking a share of a young girl’s mind with something as grungy as “contraceptives” is no easy task. We are competing against boys, music, exams, how to get more money to eat. That is why gaining relevance for contraception or taking up a share of her mind for prevention is something we need to do way before she gets to a clinic.
How do we do this?
Can we be as emotionally appealing as a boy telling her she is beautiful? Can we in the development world do this? Or, I wonder what would happen if we all started a conversation about her future. About doing everything she can to reaching her goals rather than about how she should not have sex. Yes, goals for a girl with no family income beyond this week is very different to the next girl’s goal but they are goals and dreams nonetheless.
This doesn’t mean just change the word family planning to something like future planning; this doesn’t mean a university fund! It means everyday little things that we often take for granted is known. When resources are few basic things like how best to deal with acne; how to complete a university entrance form or a CV; selling techniques for girls having to sell bananas on her head in the traffic; combat skills for personal protection; how to tell a boy “I don’t want to sleep with you right now but I really like you” are monumental tasks for a girl who doesn’t have anyone to guide her.
Adolescents have the tough job of navigating standing out vs fitting in. One of the things going for contraception does is flag to everyone that she is sexually active and needs to see a family planning provider. Which young girl would voluntarily do that?
Above: some insights from Kenya
Wouldn’t it be great if she chooses a contraception method because she wants to do everything she can to stay on her dream path…wouldn’t it be great if we can help her really stay true to her future plan rather than just plan not to have a family?
Placing this young girl at the center of everything that we do is key, obviously. But what does that mean in practice, in the specific context of family planning? We at Triggerise have not solved this critical path yet but we have started the journey. Two key challenges we have initiated is
- How can we provide a better route to market for her? Our PRO platform can provide relevant service (and products) delivery alternatives to her.
- What would really motivate her to make good choices? We believe there are opportunities around our reward platform and around our Companion model. Some of these opportunities are around linking desirable lifestyle rewards to family planning, to make the latter more aspiration.
- What other innovation opportunities are out there?
Join us or challenge us on what we are developing, testing and implementing as we embark on this monumental journey with young girls of tomorrow.