Cashing The Demographic Dividend: Return on Investment (ROI) of the holistic approach to youth development by Shujaaz Inc 

  • Our Research
  • External Impact Paper
  • 9 Dec 2022

“We estimate the monetized benefits associated with the exposure to Shujaaz gained by the media fans to reach approximately $439,707,318 over the fans’ lifetime.” 

To date, few economic evaluations of multi-sectoral programmes have been conducted, especially in lower- and middle-income countries.  

Professors from Tulane University designed a study to look at the effects of exposure to Shujaaz media on measures of income, educational attainment, and contraceptive use among Kenyan youth & the Return on Investment from our multi-media interventions. They estimate the monetized benefits associated with the exposure to Shujaaz, gained by the media fans, to reach approximately $439,707,318 over the lifetime of the study cohort. 

Since the launch of Shujaaz media, we set our goals high – to break down barriers so young people can take control of their lives.  Not just in one aspect of their being – e.g., health, school or finances – but everything! We took a holistic approach to our programming to stimulate multi-sectoral, transformative change for generations of young Kenyans.  

And it works. In a longitudinal panel survey conducted in 2016-2018 with a national cohort of young Kenyans between 15-24, we evaluated the impact that engaging with Shujaaz media platforms has on the decisions, attitudes and beliefs of our fans; particularly on sex, education and income. 

Fans in our network are taking control. The survey demonstrated that the longer our fans engage with Shujaaz media platforms, the more likely they are to take control of their sexual and reproductive health, education and income. Shujaaz fans are more likely to use modern contraception (with a 13.5 percentage point increase) and are more likely to try using a male condom (with a 12.1 percentage point increase).  

Furthermore, Shujaaz media users showed agency by the increased likelihood of completing secondary education (by 2.8 percentage points) and post-secondary education (by 3.5 percentage points). Finally, the direct effect of Shujaaz media on income was approximately USD 119.28 per exposed person per year.  

We did not want to stop there. Through our partnership with Prof. Paul Hutchinson from Tulane University, we conducted an economic evaluation to estimate the Return on Investment (ROI) from the Shujaaz multi-media platform.   

Based on the evaluation, the total monetized benefits of exposure to Shujaaz SBCC were estimated at more than $400 million, relative to costs of only $18 million throughout the study. This yields an ROI of roughly 24:1.  

We used multivariate correlated random models to estimate the incremental effects of exposure to Shujaaz media on contraceptive use, educational attainment, and income. These effects were then monetized using the value of deaths averted and direct and indirect effects on income.   

We believe that pioneering this approach would inspire further explorations of how multisectoral, multi-outcome SBCC programs can improve youth well-being and economic fortunes. 


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