CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF ADOLESCENCE (CSA)

Engaging young people in ASRHR programming

Adolescent sexual reproductive health advocacy and programming has gained traction in recent years. 

Sustainable Development Goal 3 aims to ensure universal access to SRH services by 2030, including FP, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programs. In addition, adolescents have now been included in the World Health Organization’s Global strategy for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health (2016–2030), acknowledging the unique health challenges facing young people and their pivotal role, alongside women and children, as key drivers of change. 

A look at the best practices used in ASRH programs shows that many ASRH interventions are implemented in an uncoordinated and in a disjointed manner, hence, they do not result in positive outcomes for adolescents. The programs are not implemented equitably to all adolescents, especially the hardest to reach and most vulnerable populations since the adolescents are not part of the planning, implementation and evaluation process. 

The Safire program has managed to circumvent this challenge through a Human Centered Design (HCD) approach to implementation. Taking a HCD approach, the programme uses in-depth research and analysis to generate insights into girls’ pathways to reproductive health services. 

Using these insights, the programme tests social marketing approaches, the use of digital and mobile platforms and other outreach strategies to support girls’ access to quality comprehensive sexual and reproductive services, including through referrals to a network of local health providers. 

It is important to recognize the important role young people play in delivering effective SRHR programs and improved health outcomes. This leads to more effective adolescent SRHR programs and policies because young people themselves are best able to voice their needs, realities, and opinions.

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