Critical Analysis of the Saleema FGM Campaign Evaluation


The evaluation study is referred to systematic assessment for determining the impact of certain social intervention executed to develop the desired result. The evaluation study of Saleema FGM Campaign is to be critically analysed to determine the validity of the ideas used in executing the study and the limitation along with weakness experiences in the study. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a broad harmful practice executed in many parts of Sudan. Thus, in 2008, the Saleema FGM Campaign was initiated in collaboration with UNICEF Sudan by the National Council for Child Welfare. The wider objective of the campaign was to create change regarding the way individuals communicate about female genital cutting (FGM) through promotion of wide nature of new positive terminologies for description of the female body. The key aim of the campaign was to stimulate wider discussion regarding FGM at community and family levels to ensure protection of the girls from going through any nature of genital cutting (, 2019).

The initial aim of the evaluation study regarding Saleema FGM Campaign was to examine the perception presented in the Saleema poster exemplars and to evaluate if the desired themes are interacted in the campaign whereas the secondary aim is to gather improved suggestion and values for broad execution of the campaign (, 2018). The evaluation participants considered in the study are adult males and females from 18 different states in Sudan. The qualitative research design is used in the evaluation study to examine the success of the campaign. The focus groups discussion on the basis of the three posters provided is used for collecting data regarding the evaluation study. The data from the focus groups are recorded, transcribed and translated from Arabic to English to help the information to be easily understood and being analysed by the researchers (Johnson et al. 2018). The evaluation study for Saleema FGM Campaign mentions that common source of information regarding FGM was media-outlets, community and discussion between members in the community. The participants expressed positive opinion regarding the perception presented in the Saleema poster and informed continued awareness is required to ensure avoiding FGM execution in the community. The study suggested that capitalising on partnership with young people and religious leaders or continuing the promotion of values through the campaign is able to decrease harms of FGM in Sudan (Johnson et al. 2018).

Ethical Considerations

The researchers for the evaluation study of Saleema Campaign took proper ethical permission from the Review Board of the George Washington University (Johnson et al. 2018). The ethical approval in the research studies is required to ensure the research has been executed in a responsible and accountable manner (Harriss et al. 2019). This is because it assures information is properly collected without manipulation and justifications are reached through effective evaluation. The ethical approval is required for research to ensure dignity, safety and rights of the study participants are maintained and to ensure the research is going to develop beneficial outcomes (Ingham-Broomfield, 2017). According to McConnell et al. (2017), ethical approval of the research study ensures to increase legitimacy of findings of the study. This is because it ensures proper justified approaches are taken in a reasonable manner to develop the results. It is important in making effective decision regarding the study through exploration of the results in the study.


In execution of the evaluation study, it was seen that effective informed consent from the participants in written manner is received by the researchers. The informed consent is referred to approval or permission from the participants in research in full knowledge regarding the possible consequences to be faced through participation and mentioning their opinions regarding it (Bain, 2017). The principles of informed consent are autonomy, justice and beneficence (Wu et al. 2019). The autonomy is providing right to the participants to inform their opinion without any fear, beneficence is referred to act of kindness with the intention to do good and justice is referred to moral choices (Blümle et al. 2016). In this study, the autonomy of the participants is provided in delivering written informed consent as they are not influenced in any way for forceful participation. The beneficence is also assured as the opinion of participants regarding the study are respected to determine to what extent the Saleema campaign is effective to progress towards eliminating FGM in Sudan. The justice is also maintained in the study by avoiding manipulation of any transcripts of the participants regarding the research topic.

The informed consent is important in research so that the participants cannot make unnecessary legal claims on being incorrectly involved to participate in the study (Trung et al. 2017). However, the lack of informed consent may make the participants blame the researcher that their inclusion in the study was not voluntary and rather was forcefully making the researcher face legal consequences (Olsson et al. 2020). Therefore, by abiding to take written informed consent from the participants in the study was effective for the researchers to ensure voluntary participation and avoid any further legal actions against them due to violation of ethical rules. The evaluation study is seen to maintain proper anonymity of the research participants. This is evident as no real names or identity of the participants is revealed in any manner within the study (Johnson et al. 2018). The lack of anonymity in the research leads to expose the identity of the participants making them vulnerable to harm in the society due to the presentation of their different opinion from the society (Yip et al. 2016). Since FMG in Sudan is related to culture and religion in Sudan, therefore participants not supporting the activity on revelation of their identity in the research may expose them to lack safety in the society and probable to harm and abuse as a result of hate from the community. Thus, the anonymity in study is important to assure safety to the individual participants.

Overview and Critiquing the Research Design

The research design used for the evaluation study of Saleema Campaign is Qualitative Research Design (Johnson et al. 2018). The qualitative research design is referred to the process in which the non-numeric data is gathered and they are effectively interpreted to derive the meaning to help the researcher determine the impact of certain social activities on the target population (Squires and Dorsen, 2018). The qualitative research design is relevant for the study as it is going to allow collecting descriptive data regarding the opinion and perceptions of the participants about the posters used in the Saleema Campaign. This, in turn, is going to assist the research to understand the social influence the posters can create regarding FGM in the communities within Sudan and assure extent of success of the campaign. The advantage of qualitative research is that it allows capturing attitudes, behaviour and feelings of the target people in the research regarding a certain aspect (Dempsey et al. 2016). However, quantitative research method focuses on collecting numeric data that do not explain the social phenomenon motivating the participants to provide such response (Grove and Gray, 2018). Thus, the qualitative research design is effective for use in the study as leads the researcher to develop in-depth perception and detailed information for responses gathered that intends to fulfil the aim of the study.

The quantitative research allows the researcher to gather data from wider sample size which allows ensuring greater credibility of the study. This is because statistical analysis provides easier ways to evaluate responses from large sample without impartiality (Gonzales et al. 2017). However, in qualitative research design collection of data is able to be done from a small sample size which acts as its weakness (Dempsey et al. 2016). This is because qualitative data collection in the design is time-consuming and extensive work due to which small sample size can be considered at a time. The small sample size leads to negatively affect the reliability of the study by raising the variability of the results. Thus, the results develop in this qualitative study with small sample may be highly variable and may not be reliable with reality whereas quantitative design use could have ensured greater credibility of the study.

The strength of qualitative research is that it helps to develop a detailed picture regarding the reason behind the activity of certain people and their feelings which boost the actions as well as access feedback to understand their actions (Squires and Dorsen, 2018). This is evident as through qualitative research it was found that grandmothers in the family are responsible for increased FGM as they feel uncircumcised female are a shame and disgrace for the family as well as the society. However, in quantitative design, there is no opportunity for the researcher to gather feedback or develop interaction with the participants to assess the reason behind their response (Rutberg and Bouikidis, 2018). Thus, the qualitative study design is effective to be used in the study instead of quantitative method as it assisted to describe the specific reason behind the actions or views of the participants regarding FGM management. This is because quantitative study design creates limitation for the participants in expressing their wider opinion. The limitation of qualitative research design is that it creates hindrance in comparing the transcripts of the participants when they provide wider range of different opinions regarding a specific aspect (LoBiondo-Wood and Haber, 2017). However, in quantitative research, effective comparisons between the opinions of the participants are able to be performed due to the objectivity of the results (Fain, 2017). Thus, using qualitative research design may create hindrance for the researchers in the study to compare between different opinions and values that are to be finally suggested for updating the campaign progress.

The strength of qualitative research design is that it encourages the participants to provide open and expanded response regarding the topic. This helps the research to create a detailed and wider picture of the condition of any issues in society (Thorne, 2016). However, use of quantitative design allows the researcher to gather brief information regarding the study which cannot be further explored to develop understanding regarding wider perceptions of the participants (LoBiondo-Wood et al. 2017). Thus, the use of qualitative study design is effective for the study as it allowed the researcher to explore wider values and suggestions as well as understand way to be implemented in further progress of Saleema Campaign. The strength of quantitative design is that no personal perception of the researchers is influenced in interpreting the results for the study. This is because statistically analysed data are presented in a logical manner avoiding any personal influence to interpret the results (Gray et al. 2016). As argued by Kinalski et al. (2017), the disadvantage of qualitative research is that personal perception and beliefs of the researcher may influence the gathering of the data that limits the validity of the results. This indicates that biases from researchers may be experienced during decoding of the transcripts of the participants leading to refer manipulated data in the study.

The advantage of quantitative study design is that it helps to maintain proper anonymity of the participants. This is because in qualitative study the researchers select participants if they fit the determined demographic profile for which they are working where there is no need of revealing the personal information of the participants (Halcomb and Newton, 2017). However, in qualitative study, there is need to revelation of the identity of the participants as the researchers specifically selected the sample based on demographic and personal data (Connelly, 2016). This is evident as in the study the researcher decided to include adult male and female of Sudan who has perception regarding FGM and Saleema Campaign in face-to-face discussion creating environment where personal data of the participants may be revealed. However, in the study, the issue is found to be tackled by ensuring not to reveal any personal information of the participants.

Overview and Critiquing Data Collection Methods and Study Sample

Study Sample: Research Participants

The key participants chosen for the evaluation study are adult males and females from Sudan (Johnson et al. 2018). The Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is mainly executed on girls between infancy and adolescent period under the supervision and consent from their family members that include male individuals (Abdulcadir et al. 2016). Thus, targeting the adult male and female is appropriate in the study to determine what drives the adult men and women in the family to allow FGM on female children as well as how the posters presented to them in the Saleema Campaign have been effective to change their opinion and reactions regarding FGM to avoid its execution. There are total of four focus groups chosen from each of the 18 states in Sudan amounting to 72 focus groups being used in the study. In each of the focus group, 5-10 people are present (Johnson et al. 2018). The country of Sudan is composed of 18 states and considering participants to be gathered in the study from each of the states indicates that a holistic view of the FGM execution can be determined. Moreover, additional values and perceptions along with resources to be suggested for the broader success of the Saleema Campaign in the country can be determined.

The researchers selected the sample participants for the study through clustered randomised sampling technique. The clustered sampling technique is seen to select subgroups of the population rather than consideration of individuals as a sampling unit. In this process, the population is divided into clustered or sub-groups through random selection (Mwakanyamale et al. 2019). In the study, the researcher is seen to randomly sample two administrative units in each state to collect sample for the study. The clustered sampling is found to be efficient compared to simple random sampling when the study is executed within a large geographical area (Kaya et al. 2017). This is evident as contacting individuals who have faced FGM or involved with the family that support FGM is more effective for selecting sample rather than focussing on population as whole who may or may not have experienced or support FGM. However, the limitation of clustered sampling is that it creates increased risk for creating selection bias because when the selected participants do not act as proper representation of the population then they result of create error in sampling (Li et al. 2018). In the limitation of the study, it is mentioned that selection bias may have been faced in sampling. This indicates that random sampling would be more effective in selecting participants for the study as allows selection of sample those are representative of the population avoiding occurrence of selection bias. The researchers did not offer any incentive to the participants for motivating them to include in the study. The researchers also did not mention any conflict of interest to be faced by them that may influence implication or analysis of findings of the study (Johnson et al. 2018).

Data Collection Methods

The focus group is referred to group of individuals who are gathered for participation in a discussion regarding a certain social issue for collecting their views and opinions along with feedback regarding the issue or any campaign (Fosse et al. 2017). The advantage of using focus group in the study is that it allows the researcher to gather opinion as well as feedback regarding multiple aspects of the campaign or service to be provided in the society without executing the time-intensive process of personally interviewing each of the participants (Gillett et al. 2016). Thus, the focus group used for collecting data from the research participants in the study was effective to determine how they feel as well as their feedback regarding the posters presented to them of the Saleema Campaign. In the study, the focus group was also used for gathering information sources as well as values towards Saleema Campaign. The questions which were asked in the focus group for discussion to gather data are done through conceptual framework developed from health behaviour theories such as Health Branding Theory and Social Marketing Principles. This was an effective approach in the study as it assisted to organise suggestions regarding content of the message, target population, delivery channel and way of promotion to ensure higher receptivity of the Saleema Campaign (Johnson et al. 2018).

The data from the focus group is collected through face-to-face interview process where the participants are allowed to develop discussion with one another regarding the particular topic to provide their opinion and feedback regarding it. The UNICEF member in Sudan transcribed and translated each of the responses and discussion from the focus group into English from Arabic. This was an effective approach taken in the study as the researchers mainly have knowledge regarding English helping them to execute proper evaluation of the data for effective interpretation (Johnson et al. 2018). The transcripts received from the participants are coded in repetitive manner with the assistance of a primary coder who was treated as independent of the data collection and study design. The coding of the transcripts from participants in the research is required as it helps to identify essential patterns and types of qualitative data which allows the researchers to develop proper concepts and processes that are relevant for the study (Johnson et al. 2018).

In the study, a second coder who is independent of the study design and method is chosen to code the transcripts. The transcript coded by the first and second coder is compared by using NVIVO 11.4 software which mentioned that there was high agreement between both the coders. The NVIVO software is mainly used n qualitative studies where they are implemented to analyse unstructured image, data, text and others along with involving focus group discussion, interview, survey and others (Zheng et al. 2016). The benefit of using NVIVO software is that it allows quickly storing, organising and retrieving data as it executes text searches and count words through frequency queries, group words in accordance to synonyms and others (Houghton et al. 2017). Thus, the use of the software was effective for this study as it allowed to systematically manage words from h transcripts to quickly separate them to develop proper thematic analysis of the data. There are different themes develops in the study for presenting the information. This indicates that thematic analysis method is used for data analysis. The strength of using thematic analysis is that it provides opportunity for the researcher to preset vast amount of data in systematic manner (Javadi and Zarea, 2016). This is evident as under the theme information sources and values regarding FGM it was mentioned that religious leaders in the community, local administrators, elderly people acted as source of the FGM execution. Moreover, the themes helped to systematically present coded information that religious devotion, comfort, community solidarity and educations are responsible values which promote admiration regarding FGM. Further, under the theme Saleema Campaign brand engagement and equity, it was mentioned that media advertisement, word-of-mouth and local events related to Saleema Campaign are responsible to ensure its engagement among people.

Evaluation Study reporting standards

The evaluation report is seen to have maintained a good reporting standard. This is evident as there is separate section provided in the study under the heading “Settings and material” and “Analysis and validation” where detailed explanation of the study design, data analysis methods and data collection methods to be used is provided. In order to evaluate the claims made by the researchers, they are found to show proper relation of the results with the data collection methods. This is evident as mentioning the detailed transcripts of discussion from the focus group the researcher tried to inform how the qualitative data collection led them to understand and reveal the sources and values of FGM, Saleema Campaign brand management, suggestion for the Campaign and others. The researchers are found to present the detailed information of the three posters used in the evaluation study by identifying perception and opinions regarding FGM and Saleema Campaign in the appendix (Johnson et al. 2018).

The limitation faced in the study is properly mentioned by the researchers. It is reported that there is already one missing focus group data in the study which indicates that enriched execution of the research is not performed. The other limitation mentioned is that the results are provided in cross-sectional manner due to which the cause and effective relationship cannot be determined. This indicates that the cause of the values and perception suggested being included in the Saleema Campaign can be determined as well as its impact in progressing the campaign cannot be identified. The study is performed in a specific time and not over a period of time that is going to act as a limitation (Johnson et al. 2018). This is because the researchers would be unable to determine the change in opinion and responsible sources for FGM in Sudan and its impact on Saleema Campaign success overtime (Johnson et al. 2018). The other limitation highlighted in the study is that focus group includes people who are not living in Sudan but the transcripts are found to be translated by people bilingual in Sudan. This indicates that data specific to the country cannot be gathered in true manner due to presence of outsiders who are not at all involved in the campaign. Another limitation of the study is that the results cannot be generalised for people or communities outside of Sudan as it is a country specific study (Johnson et al. 2018).

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The above discussion informs that the evaluation study is of Saleema Campaign which is developed in 2008 in Sudan with the help of UNICEF and National Council for Child Welfare. The ethical consideration in the study is found to be appropriately abided which is evident as written informed consent from the participants is taken to be included in the study. Moreover, the anonymity of the participants is maintained and no external influences are seen to be implemented to forcefully included the participants in the study. The study has used qualitative research design instead of quantitative research design for evaluation of Saleema Campaign which is effective for the study as it led to develop wide data regarding perception of the people to change on watching posters of Saleema Campaign and varied details of the sources and values to be considered for broader success of the campaign. The focus group discussion and interview are used for data collection in the study. There are four focus groups chosen from each of the 18 states in Sudan. The evaluation study is found to show good reporting standards and has mentioned the probable limitations faced in the study indicating the facts that may have manipulated the study.


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