Using data, storytelling and media technology for behavior change

Key Focus: Reducing the rate of Teenage Pregnancy & STIs


The 2016 Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey (TDHS) and other literature shows that teenage pregnancies are a critical concern in Tanzania. According to the TDHS, the prevalence of teenage pregnancy has increased from 23% in 2010 to 27% in 2016. An
estimated 8,000 girls drop out of school every year due to pregnancy, and pregnant teenagers are more likely to be forced into early marriage. On average in Tanzania, almost two out of five girls will be married before they turn 18 years old.


Studies have shown that teenagers lack adequate information about sexuality and associated health risks because parents do not talk to their children about sexual matters. Parents often feel confused, ill-informed, or embarrassed about the topic. In line with that, data from the NBS HIV impact survey (conducted in 2016/2017) shows that the epidemic among teens aged 15–19 years has remained stable since 2008, with no decline in adolescent HIV prevalence. Tanzania carries 5 per cent of the global burden of HIV among adolescents. Girls are disproportionately affected and are almost three times more likely to be living with HIV than boys of the same age. Early marriage and childbearing are common in 27 per cent of girls aged 15–19 being either pregnant or parent to a child. This leads to female drop outs at both primary and secondary school levels.


Our solution uses existing research data that we translate into meaningful, real-life stories. There are many open data sets regarding teen pregnancy from big organizations like UNFPA, National Bureaus of Statistics and others. We explored open data sets on the status of teenage pregnancy in Tanzania together with the causes and recommendations, then we translate it into information to educate and inspire behavior change. Secondary school students are our main beneficiaries since most of them are at our target age group, and they need information on teenage pregnancy and its causes. We take this information and create 3D story videos to inform and entertain.


Talk it out – We talk to various stakeholders and immerse ourselves in the situation we are trying to solve. We observe the experiences and actions of people living in these situations
e.g. we speak to young women whose lives have been affected by teenage pregnancy and try to understand how life changed for them and their wishes prior to the pregnancy. We conduct a baseline survey to understand if teenagers know the risk behaviors that contribute to teenage pregnancy.

We script it, draw it and bring it to life – Our creative team determines the topic and direction of the script based on the stories collected. Scripts are reviewed by stakeholders before moving to storyboarding. A storyboard is a sketch of still images displayed in a sequence to pre-visualize an animated film. The script becomes a storyboard and we add voices for the first time. Once we have a script and a story its time to animate! During animation we add the final voice overs, sound effects and music. The finished product is then shown to students in various schools and a survey is then done to evaluate the impact made. We plan to use traditional and social media in the near future.

Outcomes & Impact

Throughout the Darubini project, Tai Tanzania has produced one episode centered on information about puberty. The episode was screened to 9 different secondary schools. Five from Temeke district; Keko Sec, Tandika Sec, Kurasini Sec, Kibasila Sec & Chang’ombe Sec and 4 from Kinondoni district; Turiani Sec, Mtakuja Beach Sec, Kambangwa Sec & Salma Kikwete Sec.
The total number of students from all the schools who saw the episode was 2985.

Key Collaborators

Tai Tanzania, Data Lab Tanzania (Formerly Data for Local Impact Innovation Challenge – DLIIC) and the Government of Tanzania through President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government (which gave us the permit, useful inputs and collaboration that propelled the success of this project) are the key collaborators in this project. The grant, capacity building, and mentorship from the Data Lab Tanzania have enabled Tai Tanzania to achieve the goals of this project where 5 schools from Temeke District participated.

The former Data for Local Impact Innovation Challenge (DLIIC) provided financial and technical support to this project. DLIIC fostered data-driven innovations through small grant challenges for youth and entrepreneurs. The DLIIC is now part of the Tanzania dLab. Tanzania Data Lab (dLab) is a national data hub that promotes data innovations, literacy, data use and multi-stakeholder data collaborations. More information at and @dLabTz.


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