A Design-Led Theory of Change for a Mobile Game App (Go Nisha Go) for Adolescent Girls in India: Multimix Methodology Study

India has one of the largest adolescent populations in the world. Yet adolescents, particularly adolescent girls, have limited access to correct sexual and reproductive health information and services. The context in which adolescent girls live is one of gender inequity where they contend with early marriage and early pregnancy and have few opportunities for quality education and labor force participation. The digital revolution has expanded the penetration of mobile phones across India, increasingly being used by adolescent girls. Health interventions are also moving onto digital platforms. Evidence has shown that applications of game elements and game-based learning can be powerful tools in behavior change and health interventions. This provides a unique opportunity, particularly for the private sector, to reach and empower adolescent girls directly with information, products, and services in a private and fun manner.

The objective of this paper is to describe how a design-led Theory of Change (ToC) was formulated for a mobile game app that is not only underpinned by theories of various behavior change models but also identifies variables and triggers for in-game behavioral intentions that can be tracked and measured within the game and validated through a rigorous post-gameplay outcome evaluation.

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India has one of the largest adolescent populations in the world. Yet adolescents, particularly adolescent girls, have limited access to correct sexual and reproductive health information and services. The context in which adolescent girls live is one of gender inequity where they contend with early marriage and early pregnancy and have few opportunities for quality education and labor force participation. The digital revolution has expanded the penetration of mobile phones across India, increasingly being used by adolescent girls. Health interventions are also moving onto digital platforms. Evidence has shown that applications of game elements and game-based learning can be powerful tools in behavior change and health interventions. This provides a unique opportunity, particularly for the private sector, to reach and empower adolescent girls directly with information, products, and services in a private and fun manner.

The objective of this paper is to describe how a design-led Theory of Change (ToC) was formulated for a mobile game app that is not only underpinned by theories of various behavior change models but also identifies variables and triggers for in-game behavioral intentions that can be tracked and measured within the game and validated through a rigorous post-gameplay outcome evaluation.