Debbo Alafia Consortium

Project Overview

Debbo Alafia, a consortium led by MSH and the Malian nongovernmental organization Conseils et Appui pour l'Education à la Base (Advice and Support for Basic Education) worked to advance women's and girls' sexual and reproductive health and rights in Mali. The consortium focused on promoting family planning and preventing traditional harmful practices, including child marriage, gender-based violence, and female genital mutilation.

Funded by the Dutch Embassy in Mali, the Debbo Alafia Consortium built the capacity of 48 local public-sector and civil society implementing partners comprising 47 communes and 1,023 villages to implement innovative strategies for improving women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights and to improve their management and administrative systems with an eye toward sustainability.

Over the course of the five-year project, with technical input from the Debbo Alafia Consortium, local implementing partners conducted social and behavior change (SBCC) activities to promote family planning and eliminate harmful traditional practices by engaging community members in intergenerational education and outreach events. SBCC activities included engaging youth in dance and theater, radio and television programming, town hall meetings, and school-based discussions. To bolster services in response to demand creation, the consortium strengthened the regional health team’s capacity to provide medical and psychosocial support to survivors of gender-based violence at the district hospital. Leveraging political and religious leaders' significant influence on public opinion and acceptance, the Debbo Alafia Consortium also strengthened political commitment and recruited community champions to call for the end of female genital mutilation and child marriage at the village level.


  • Increased contraceptive use from an average of 12.6% in 2016 to 21.6% in 2018 by increasing the demand, referral, and availability of contraceptives.


  • Increased the number of adolescents in supported regions who received information and counseling on family planning services from 506,466 in 2016 to 906,166 in 2018.


  • Community outreach and advocacy activities between 2016 and 2018 resulted in 141 new villages signing a convention to abandon the practice of female genital mutilation. During this period, the rate of child marriage also decreased from 18% to 0.8% in Mopti.

Project Team