Parenting for Respectability (PfR)-Digital in Uganda

About this project

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  January 2023 - June 2025
Principal Investigator Dr Godfrey Siu (Makerere University)
Research Team Ms Carolyn Namutebi (Makerere University), Onesmus Kamacooko, Dr Betty Okot ( Makerere University/CHDC), Dr Seema Vyas (University of Oxford)
Partners Family and Culture Department, Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development; Centre for Transformative Parenting and Research ; Department of Mass Communication; Children Rights and Violence Prevention Fund; SOS Children’s Village Uganda ; Private Sector Foundation Uganda, Spring Impact; MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow; UNICEF Uganda


Implementation research to test the transferability of the Parenting for Lifelong Health human-digital architecture to build similar digital and hybrid versions for Parenting for Respectability. Beneficiaries will primarily be caregivers of children between the ages of 0 and 17.


The PfR-Digital study will examine the utility of digital delivery options for scaling-up the Parenting for Respectability (PfR) programme to address both violence against children and intimate partner violence. Formative and pre-post outcome evaluations have found the programme highly promising and both government and NGOs have expressed interest in scaling it. However, until now, delivery has been limited to in-person delivery, resulting in sub-optimal reach. Digital platforms would greatly facilitate larger scale delivery, addressing three main barriers:

  1. The absence of resources to conduct in-person delivery at scale
  2. COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, which have affected in-person group-based delivery
  3. Limited access and participation in in-person sessions by parents with busy work commitments, particularly urban based parents


The overall goal is to assess the feasibility, reach, impact, and sustainability of digital delivery of PfR. The research addresses the following objectives:

  1. Assess readiness of the existing systems, platforms, and parents, to move into systematic delivery of PfR through digital channels, and identify the facilitators and potential obstacles
  2. Leverage and adapt the existing PLH digital architecture to develop appropriate content and delivery platforms to scale-up the reach of PfR programmes. Assess acceptability, feasibility, and processes of delivering PfR through digital platforms in Uganda. Evaluate the outcomes of delivering PfR through digital platforms on reducing violence against children and gender-based violence

Study Setting

The study will be conducted with online/social media communities, and local radio listeners based in three districts of Uganda: Kampala City, Wakiso within the precepts of Kampala, and Gulu in Northern Uganda. Each will contribute parental participants to the 4 digital delivery mechanisms adapted from the PLH digital programme package: ParentText, ParentApp, ParentChat, and video-conference delivery of the in-person programme. In addition, radio drama listenership groups will be established and targeted, especially for rural-based audiences.

Study Significance and Impact

Findings will have a major impact on our knowledge and capacity to prevent violence against children and gender-based violence at scale. The PfR-Digital study is the first of its kind to test an integrative approach that combines parenting and partner relationships in a hybrid-digital delivery system. It will build on the current innovative work of PLH to improve engagement of men in parenting programmes and address gender norms, attitudes and behaviours that contribute to gender-based violence.