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The purpose of the monthly Spotlight is to showcase health communication materials that have had proven impact.

Know Yourself Kit for Adolescents - Bangladesh


'Know Yourself' KitThe “Know Yourself” materials were developed under the Adolescent Reproductive Health (ARH) communication program in Bangladesh . The ARH program addresses the gap between knowledge and practice through its multi-pronged communication strategy focusing on priority adolescent issues revealed by adolescents themselves. The comprehensive program is based on extensive research revealing the need to create an enabling environment that supports adolescents' knowledge and service seeking behaviors.

The “Know Yourself” package of materials or kit aims at four critical components of behavior change: provision of information, motivation for behavior change, building life skills, and creating an enabling environment to support and sustain behavior change over time. All ARH materials and media use the logo with “NijekeJano" or "Know Yourself" as the slogan. This provides 'branding' to identify the ARH program materials and a rallying point for the partners involved. Adolescents are involved in all stages of program developments: Formative research, character development and story writing for scripts and comic books, retesting, acting, and evaluation.

Providing Information:

Pamphlets were produced to cover the following subjects:

  • Puberty: Physical maturity, menstruation, sperm production/wet dreams, and emotional changes.
  • New Feelings, New Passions: Sexual attraction, delay of marriage, avoiding unwanted pregnancy, sexual and physical abuse.
  • Preventing Risks to Our Future: HIV/AIDS and other STIs: delay of sexual debut, faithfulness, condom use, and prevention of Injecting Drug Use.
  • Preparing for Marriage: Delay of marriage, family planning, maternal and child health, hygiene and nutrition.

Pamphlets for Adolescents (Click images to see PDFs)

Puberty: Pamphlet for adolescents

New feelings, new passions
New feelings, new passions: Pamphlet for adolescents

Preventing risks to our future
Preventing risks to our future: Pamphlet for adolescents

Preparing for marriage
Preparing for marriage: Pamphlet for adolescents

Encouraging Motivation:

Comic books are very popular with adolescents and allow programmers to address sensitive issues more directly than is possible on television or radio. The ARH comic books feature the adventures of adolescents Sajjad and his sister Shanu in a semi-urban town that touch on the reproductive health issues. Each comic book includes guidelines and questions for discussion on these issues.

Comic Books (Click images to see PDFs)

Adventures of the Science Gang Comic Book Flower Boat Comic Book Circus Girl Comic Book Wizard of Nighmares Comic Book

Building Life Skills:

Four Life Skills Facilitators' Guides with Videos were developed to encourage adolescents to think through goals and problems and articulate their opinions. The guides contain many life skills exercises on the same four subject areas as the booklets. The life skills workshop is a forum where adolescents practice decision making, problem solving, critical and creative thinking and interpersonal skills. The videos feature adolescents speaking openly, role-playing, comic animation and parent and service provider statements.

Videos and Facilitator's Guides (Click images to see PDFs)

It's my puberty
It's my puberty VideoIt's my puberty Facilitator's guide

Video clip from "It's My Puberty":
| Windows Media Player

New feelings, new passions
New feelings, new passions VideoNew feelings, new passions Facilitator's guide

Preventing risks to our future
Preventing risks to our future VideoPreventing risks to our future Facilitator's guide

Preparing for marriage
Preparing for marriage VideoPreparing for marriage Facilitator's guide

Creating An Enabling Environment:

A 39-episode TV series and 52-episode radio series follow a variety-show format with adolescent anchors and field reporters who conduct interviews with adolescents, parents, teachers, service providers and community leaders on ARH issues. The program also presents songs, poems, quizzes, dramas using the same characters as the comic book. The national TV and radio broadcast extend ARH messages to adolescents, parents, community leaders and service providers. The TV and radio series are linked to the toolkit and comic books through the logo and theme songs.


The program implemented a pilot study of the ARH materials in three rural areas of Bangladesh. This pilot study included baseline and follow-up cross-sectional surveys of adolescents and their parents in the implementation and selected comparison areas. Overall, 1702 adolescents and 1203 parents were interviewed in the spring of 2004 and 1827 adolescents and 1276 parents were interviewed in the summer of 2005.

The main findings from this study include:

  • Nearly 60 percent of all adolescents in the implementation areas reported participating in the ARH group sessions
  • Participants in the implementation sites had greater knowledge of puberty and adolescence, pregnancy, maternal health and HIV/AIDS than either non-participants or adolescents living in the comparison sites.
  • Participants were more likely to have discussed RH issues with a parent or elder family member than either non-participants or adolescents living in the comparison sites.
  • The program did not have a noticeable effect on adolescents' perceptions of self-esteem or problem-solving ability.
  • Compared to parents in the comparison areas, parents in the implementation areas indicated a greater level of participation in household decision-making by adolescents.

A larger study is planned for fall 2006 to assess the joint effects of the mass media and community-level activities.


The “Know Yourself” Adolescent Reproductive Health (ARH) Communication Program was developed by the Bangladesh Center for Communication Programs (BCCP), with support from the ARH Working Group, technical assistance from the Health Communication Partnership, based at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia, Kathmandu, with funding from USAID and UNICEF Bangladesh.

Apply for a workshop based on this ARH program.

See resources for Adolescent Reproductive Health.

See photographs concerning the 'Know Yourself' campaign.


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The Health Communication Partnership

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health/Center for Communication Programs in partnership with
Academy for Educational Development " Save the Children " The International HIV/AIDS Alliance
Tulane University's School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine


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