What is Yaya?

Yaya is a digital life skills app developed by Avert as part of the EAGLE project in Mozambique, a literacy and life skills programme funded by Global Affairs Canada and implemented by VSO and Light for the World. EAGLE stands for Empowering Adolescent Girls to Learn and Earn.

The Yaya app is providing low literacy, out-of-school adolescent girls and young women in Mozambique with a set of tablet-based, user-friendly, resources on life skills, sex and relationships, that aim to increase their knowledge and enable them to make informed sexual health and relationship decisions.

The Yaya app has been co-created with continuous engagement of the adolescent girls through ideation, testing, language development and validation of branding, content, and user interface and experience, to ensure the app is relevant, culturally appropriate, and meets users’ needs.

Yaya provides a flexible, home-based learning solution, in local languages, using low-cost tablets.

Screenshot of the Yaya app

The impact of the co-creation process was very positive. It made the application more acceptable to the community because they had participated in its creation … The girls really, in exploring their ideas, developed self-esteem and were able to believe in themselves. They could express their opinions about sexuality and feel that they were important and involved in what was going on.


EAGLE project representative in Mozambique

Why was Yaya developed?

The EAGLE project works with out-of-school, low literacy adolescent girls and young women to achieve economic independence.

Low literacy girls and young women are economically disadvantaged and have increased vulnerability to HIV and poor sexual and reproductive health outcomes. Improving their literacy and numeracy capabilities, giving them sexual health knowledge and skills, and supporting economic empowerment can all reduce their HIV risk, support sexual health, and increase their opportunity to be active empowered citizens.

Yaya has been developed to complement the wider life skills work of the project, adding an opportunity to reinforce learning and topic exploration in the privacy of home, and can be used alone or with friends and family. Yaya is installed on low cost tablets alongside an education app .. This will often be the first time these young women and girls have had the opportunity to engage with digital content, providing a new and fresh opportunity to support their self efficacy and agency.

We like what [Yaya] said… We can trust her because she has a friendly voice and seems like a very knowledgeable person.

Yaya co-creation participant


How is Yaya making a difference?

Yaya has now been rolled out to over 550 girls and will reach a total of 3,000 girls across Sofala and Manica provinces by project end.

Yaya is currently available in Ndau and Sena, two of the local languages spoken in the project areas. An additional language version will be added to align with the geographical areas of Mozambique that the programme is working.

The development and co-creation process has already generated considerable learning about how to include low literacy, digitally naïve communities in digital health developments. Avert is working with VSO to ensure the learning from the project also supports wider internal learning about how digital approaches can support lasting change in life skills, even among marginalised groups, and help address issues of longer-term sustainability.

Photo credit: mauritius images GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo. Photos are used for illustrative purposes. They do not imply health status or behaviour.