LUCKNOW–The Center for Inter-disciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health (Ci3) at the University of Chicago will get a $1 million grant for the next two years from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, an official said on Wednesday.

University of Chcago
University of Chcago

Ci3’s newly launched Transmedia Story Lab (TSL) will collaborate with leading non-governmental organisations in Lucknow to train them in novel, youth-friendly data collection techniques.

Together with their community partners, Ci3 will conduct workshops with Lucknow youth aged 15-24 using games, storytelling and art to learn more about the daily lives of young people to better understand the social determinants of adolescent reproductive health and well being.

Digital storytelling will anchor the project.

Digital stories are short, first person documentaries produced with music, images and narratives of young people communicating their daily lives, hopes and dreams.

The storytelling methodology helps to paint a rich portrait of the lives of young people living in urban slums, enhance the field’s understanding of gender and social norms and create new insights for improving adolescent sexual and reproductive health and reducing the unmet need for family planning.

Workshops will be accompanied by interviews with policy makers, non-governmental organisations, parents and healthcare providers.

In the second year, Ci3 will create a small grants programme to invest in young people’s ideas on how best to advance the lives of girls in India.

This project also reflects Ci3’s commitment to developing novel partnerships. Ci3 will work with the University of Chicago alumnus Sandeep Ahuja MPP ’06, director of Operation ASHA, an international leader in tuberculosis (TB) eradication.

Operation ASHA is known for its innovative approaches and outcome-oriented research.

Ci3 recently launched Transmedia Story Lab which builds upon South Side Stories, a two-year project funded by the Ford Foundation.

Culminating in the summer of 2014, South Side Stories chronicled and digitally archived stories that countered dominant narratives about African- American adolescent’s sexuality.

Founded in 2012, Ci3 is a University-wide centre established to empower young people and remove policy and systemic barriers to sexual and reproductive health and well being.

Ci3 develops novel interventions using technology, games and narrative in collaboration with youth, partner organisations and University faculty.