Adolescent & Youth Sexual & Reproductive Health Toolkit
Why Should I Use this Toolkit?
Young people – especially poor young people – who reside in urban environments are worse off than their rural counterparts when it comes to access to health and education. Evidence suggests that they have earlier sexual debut, lower condom usage, and more sexual partners (Mmari & Astone, 2014).
The Challenge Initiative’s AYSRH Toolkit presents evidence-based interventions for increasing young people’s access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services and information in urban environments. In developing the Toolkit, researchers prioritized the findings from the Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (URHI) – a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded multi-country program focused on increasing access to contraception in urban environments. While URHI was not an adolescent-focused program, there were important lessons learned – particularly from the Nigerian and Kenyan contexts – that have been integrated into the AYSRH Toolkit. Beyond URHI, the Toolkit also contains evidence from global research and evaluations of initiatives serving urban youth and SRH. Given limits in the urban-specific literature, more general AYSRH programmatic evidence was included if it was considered to have ‘urban potential.’
How Do I Use this Toolkit?
The AYSRH Toolkit will support the implementation of AYSRH approaches in those cities that want to include a youth component within their family planning/reproductive health programs. The guidance and tools in the Global Toolkit should be consulted in addition to the AYSRH Toolkit when designing a program for young people residing in urban environments.
Similar to the Global Toolkit, the AYSRH Toolkit presents a range of interventions relating to three components of adolescent health programming: services, demand creation and advocacy. Evidence indicates that effective AYSRH programs address all three components. As a result, it is important to know of partners that may be already engaged in these types of interventions, so that you don’t duplicate efforts and leverage each other’s work. The key is knowing your context and adapting interventions to suit it. For example, while health providers everywhere in the world should be youth-friendly, their training must be tailored to address context-specific realities, including norms relating to youth sexuality, epidemiological and demographic trends, and the presence or absence of comprehensive sexuality education for young people. To quickly locate an AYSRH tool of interest for possible adaptation, check out the AYSRH Tools Collection.
Furthermore, the cross-cutting approaches identified in the Toolkit as ‘Essentials’ apply to any and all interventions used. As TCI begins implementation of AYSRH interventions, the Toolkit will be updated with additional lessons learned and practical tips, guidance and tools.
The AYSRH Toolkit was developed by The Torchlight Collective, including Katherine Watson, Lindsay Menard-Freeman, Arushi Singh, Stephanie Kimou, Sara Pellegrom, Sarah Blake, Ishita Chaudhry, Meaghan Derynck, and Grace Wilentz, in collaboration with Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs.