Since 2009, MTV Staying Alive Foundation has run an HIV behavior change campaign called MTV Shuga, which is a drama series and multimedia campaign that features the lives of young people in Africa. Over four series, the drama has crossed the continent from Kenya to Nigeria, touched on numerous plotlines relating to HIV and other health issues and vastly improved knowledge about HIV transmission and testing. To plan for Shuga’s future, MTV needed to set a vision and develop a long- term partnership and donor strategy.

Our work

We worked with the MTV Staying Alive Foundation to define its vision and unique value proposition, set goals of expanding to South Africa, establishing three regional hubs across Africa and growing beyond Africa to include other continents. We conducted a landscape analysis and prioritized the best partners and donors to help make Shuga’s expansion a reality.


MTV Staying Alive Foundation has established a diverse array of partnerships including country governments, like the US, international NGOs like Marie Stopes International, foundations like the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, and companies like ViiV, a joint venture by Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline. This has allowed Shuga to expand to South Africa, establish three regional hubs across the African continent and plan for further expansion to India.


  • Strategic planning
  • Partnership development

“ We love working with GCN. They have become a trusted partner and feel like an extension of our team. They bring two decades of experience in global health, an excellent network of stakeholders and never fail to over-deliver. We really value not only their dedication but also the innate passion they bring to their work."

- Georgia Arnold, Founder, MTV Staying Alive Foundation, SVP, Viacom