Siyakha Nentsha (SN) was a randomised experiment that targets young people in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa. The program addressed the real-life economic, social and health challenges young people encounter on a daily basis. The educational programme developed for the intervention was accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA, the national government body that accredits education and training curricula) meaning that not only will young people who complete the program have received valuable skills, but that they have documentation of these skills that can be used in future job searches. Siyakha Nentsha was delivered in secondary schools during school hours. It was led by young adult mentors who were chosen from the local community and received extensive training. Sessions with students occurred 2-3 times per week and each was approximately one hour in length. The long-term objective of the programme is to improve lifelong functional capabilities and well-being of adolescent females and males who face high risks for HIV, teenage pregnancy, school dropout, and unemployment, coupled with the actual or potential loss of one or both parents. The skills are geared to help offer protective strategies against HIV and mechanisms for coping with and mitigating the impacts of AIDS, with the long-term goal of building economic, social and health assets.
The study has three intervention arms: control, partial intervention and full intervention. These arms were randomised at the classroom level for 10th and 11th graders in Round 1 in seven secondary schools. One school that received a delayed intervention served as the control sample. The two versions of the intervention differ in that the full version includes HIV/AIDS education, social capital building, and financial capabilities, whereas the partial version omits the financial capabilities component. The study began in January 2008 and lasted for 36 months, with measures on individual students at baseline and post-intervention. The number of individuals who were part of at least Round 1 or Round 2 is 1,307. Individuals can be uniquely identified with the variables qnum (round 1) and IDNUM (round 2).