The first phase of Heartlines was evaluated using scientifically rigorous evaluation methods. A baseline benchmarking survey was conducted prior to the project. The post-intervention evaluation included interviews with 3500 adults across the country supplemented by 37 in-depth interviews and nine focus groups.
Key findings include:
- An estimated 26% of the adult population or 7,3 million adults watched one or more of the Heartlines films on television;
- The highest viewership (34%) was among the people aged between 18 and 24 years;
- Audience numbers doubled from the first film to the last film;
- Almost two-thirds of those who watched HEARTLINES discussed the films with others – resulting in an estimated 4,5 million additional values-related conversations;
- Heartlines had a positive impact on decreasing stigma towards People Living with Aids in South Africa;
- Heartlines established support and credibility within FBOs that were visited and stories of far-reaching self-reflection and change attest to the impact of Heartlines on individual-level attitudes when used at FBOs, particularly with respect to forgiveness.
The first phase of Heartlines achieved excellent reach for an eight-week intervention. Noting that models of behaviour change postulate that dialogue is one of the critical ‘intermediate’ outcomes leading towards behaviour change or action, Heartlines’ success is underscored by its achievement of a national dialogue on values.