Anova conducts behavioural research to inform the development of our interventions by increasing our understanding of the context in which they will be implemented.

A key example of this type of research was our community outreach project Ukwazana/Zwakalani. Using a combination of methods, Anova’s researchers identified key factors affecting HIV risk among men who have sex with men (MSM) in the peri-urban townships of Cape Town and Johannesburg. Anova found that HIV risk in these men was affected by factors both within their daily lives, such as stigma and discrimination, and personal factors such as depression. These findings helped to shape subsequent interventions with these MSM.

Behavioural research also forms an important part of evaluating the impact of interventions and adjusting the implementation process. These research methods enable Anova to adapt to the changing contexts in which we work. For example, an evaluation of Anova’s partnership with the Department of Health provided insights into the way the collaborative relationship functioned and important ways to strengthen our joint work.

Further Reading:

HIV risk and prevention among men who have sex with men in rural South Africa
Sexual behaviour of women in rural South Africa: a descriptive study

Behavioural research refers to what people do, as well as what drives them to do these things, and it considers psychological factors, like the emotional state of a person.