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Boys and Girls - An interactive web-based series to promote healthy lifestyles among European adolescents [Boys and Girls] [20091203] - Project
General objectives

The general objective is to carry out and assess the effectiveness of a web-campaign and to raise awareness about risky lifestyles for youth aged 15-18 years old who are neither in work nor in education. The project aims to target these adolescents in a way that will lead to raise their awareness and knowledge of healthier behaviours.

Specific objectives:
1. Preparation
The final messages and production of the web series will be developed, peer reviewed and validated over the project duration by issue experts, a focus group of adolescents and social networks.
2. Roll-out
The roll-out of the web-campaign will include activities aimed at gathering interest for the series through social networks, media and web-based channels etc., as well as the display of the series on the relevant sharing platforms (eg. Youtube, Daily Motion)
3. Evaluation
The aim is to test the effectiveness of an innovative communication approach to the target group, that could be applied in other EU and national health policies.

Strategic relevance and contribution to the public health programme

The project responds to topic of the annual work plan of the EU public health programme, specifically to ”Health promotion activities addressing the needs of young people (aged 15-25) who are neither in work nor in education”. In the long-term, the project also addresses the priority area "Promote healthier ways of life and reduce major diseases and injuries by tackling health determinants” (WP – 3.3.2, HP – 2.2).
Unhealthy lifestyles are widespread among young people in Europe. They are difficult to reach through the more traditional communications means. Communication should be on their terms and in a language that they understand and relate to. The project will reach out to the target group in an environment they trust and in a way that does not push information at them. Young Europeans from all backgrounds share the same passion for the internet and new media. To them, this medium is accessible and democratic, and it overcomes geographical, social, educational and economic boundaries.

Methods and means

The project starts with a content development phase to identify the priorities, to address and develop the messages, with a focus on nutrition, sexual health, alcohol and drugs. A workshop is organised with project partners and adolescents. This will result into an outline of priorities and health messages.
Next a Peer Review Group of 28 adolescents will review and validate messages and storylines. The work in this group consists of three consultation rounds and feedback gathered through on-line questionnaires.
This will lead to the production of 50 short episodes of web-series in English, dubbed into 6 languages. A communication and dissemination plan will be developed, including raising interest for and dissemination of the project and series.
The evaluation strategy will be detailed in an evaluation plan. Results will be presented in a specific report at the end of the project. This will lead to recommendations on the use of Internet to communicate health issues to the target group.

Expected outcomes period

The project will provide an increased knowledge about how to reach the target group through social media. This could be applied to future projects and communication initiatives across a wide range of health issues.
The web-series will address the target group in a language that they understand and will help them to relate to a range of health issues.
The project aims to measure how this approach can contribute to raise awareness among European adolescents.
After the project the web-series will be available on the web, in particular on video sharing platforms like Youtube and Daily Motion. The series will also be available on any other relevant pre-identified channels appealing to the target group.

Start date: 01/09/2010
End date: 01/09/2012
Duration: 24 month(s)
Current status: Finalised
Programme title: Second Programme of Community action in the Field of Health 2008-2013
EC Contribution: € 529 898,82