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Cate Lane, Youth Advisor for USAID shares strategies to reach youth with positive messages on health and evaluates what works and what does not based on program experience.

Published in: Healthcare
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  2. 2. Why youth? • One third of the world’s population is aged 10-24 • Pregnancy and HIV: major causes of youth illness and death among youth • 16 million women 15–19 years give birth: 11% of all births, 95% in LMIC • 10% of girls are mothers by age 16 years (SSA, SEA) • 42% of new HIV infections to all people 15 and over are to adolescents 15-24 HEALTH INVESTMENTS IN TODAY’S ADOLESCENTS HAVE IMMEDIATE AND FUTURE RETURNS
  3. 3. What do we want for youth? PRH focuses on ages 10-19 • Delay first pregnancy to at least age 18 years • Ensure birth to pregnancy intervals of at least 24 months USAID’s Youth in Development Policy Goal: Improve the capacities and enable th e aspirations of youth (aged 10 -29) so that they can contribute to and benefit fro m more stable, democratic, and prosperous communities and nations.
  4. 4. Challenges to Achieving These Outcomes • Persistent norms: early marriage and childbearing • Biases and stigma around adolescent sexuality • Unmet need for contraception: both married and unmarried adolescents • Lack of access to appropriate information and services at scale • Negative perceptions of youth and adolescents • NIMBY attitudes among policy makers • Poverty and lack of opportunity • Limited engagement • And so on………………………..
  5. 5. Considerations to achieving Be clear about your desired outcome and plan accordingly. Keep the following in mind: • program against the diversity of adolescents; • ensure adolescent access to all methods; • forgo separate services and make services that already serve adolescents “youth friendly;” • partner with pharmacies and drug shops as sources of contraception; and • support all health workers to provide “youth friendly” care.
  6. 6. Developing Life Skills
  7. 7. Key Implementation Needs • Adolescents have access to full method mix • Health services are age and developmentally appropriate and integrated: PPFP, ANC, MCH, PAC, HTC, PMTCT, ART etc • The policy and social environment facilitates the delivery of developmentally appropriate, gender equitable information about sexuality and health and addresses barriers to contraceptive and condom use • Youth programs in other sectors integrate health information and services
  8. 8. Successful programs address the following: • Value girls and are gender transformative • Help youth understand benefits of delayed sexual activity • Increase school enrollment • Build skills, self efficacy, agency, and confidence • Promote a sense of future • Use multiple channels to disseminate information • Build adult and adolescent comfort with adolescent sexuality, contraceptive and condom use • Ensure access to youth friendly services that are accessible, convenient, affordable, confidential • Create referral networks • Involve private sector: vouchers, social franchises.
  9. 9. Things NOT to do • Implement ineffective interventions and approaches • Implement effective interventions without fidelity
  10. 10. Popular but ineffective interventions • Youth Centers: • Don’t change SRH behavior or increase use of services • Used by older male youth • Costly • Peer Education: • Little impact on intended beneficiaries (e.g. contraceptive uptake • Greatest impact on peer educators • High profile meetings • No impact on harmful practices
  11. 11. Interventions that are delivered ineffectively • Comprehensive Sexuality Education • Inadequate attention to factors that ensure success • Weak content • Teachers uncomfortable with content • Little or no linkages to services • Youth friendly services • Providers are not trained • Facilities are not welcoming • Adolescents lack awareness of services • Community members are not supportive
  12. 12. Little or no systematic and sustained approaches • Inattention to whole system of youth development: • Cross-sectoral • Integrated • Coordinated • Inadequate intervention dosage • Short-term • Donor driven • No plan for scale
  13. 13. A call to action! 1. Youth as partners 2. Stop doing what doesn’t work. 3. Fidelity. Dosage. Scale. 4. Innovate and evaluate!  Positive youth development  Cross-sectoral programming