Senegalese Men’s Support for Family Planning: A Glow on the Horizon

Who is Moussa? He is a Senegalese man, age 35. Moussa and his lovely wife Amy live in the outskirts of Dakar. It’s tough for him to cover his family’s expenses with his modest income. Moussa is concerned about the well-being of his family, but due to his attachment to traditional and religious values, ​​he does not encourage his wife to use modern contraception. Moussa is an archetype—he represents not one individual, but many men in Senegal who discourage and even prevent their partners from using family planning. The Senegalese social marketing association ADEMAS created archetypes for Moussa and Amy based on marketing research.

Starting in 2013, the Ministry of Health of Senegal and a coalition of technical partners, led by ADEMAS, UNFPA, and IntraHealth, developed, implemented, and evaluated the first-ever family planning communication campaign in Senegal to address men as well as women at national scale through multiple channels. Using the slogan moytou nef (“avoid closely spaced births” in Wolof, the major local language of Senegal), the campaign aimed to foster an enabling environment for modern contraceptive use. Mid-course evaluation data was collected in 8 of Senegal’s 14 regions through qualitative and quantitative research methodologies including 50 key informant interviews with medical personnel and implementing partners, 27 focus group discussions with the primary and secondary audiences, and a quantitative survey of 1,848 men and 896 women.