A Growing Youth Population
More than half of the world’s population currently lives in cities and this urbanization is accelerating to 70% by 2050, especially in Africa and Asia. Cities benefit from economic growth, but also struggle to accommodate rising demands for services. Cities are home to growing, underserved poor communities.
At the same time, the world is experiencing the largest generation of young people in history: 1.8 billion people, a sixth of the world’s population, are 10 to 24 years old. Collectively, young people have urgent and vast needs for policies and programs that ensure their improved sexual and reproductive health.
Adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH) is a critical area that also needs to be addressed with rapidly scalable and sustainable proven approaches. In response to that need, TCI expanded its portfolio to include proven AYSRH approaches in service delivery, demand generation and advocacy. This program is called TCI Youth.
TCI Youth developed an AYSRH toolkit of proven approaches – implemented under URHI as well as from the global literature – that are designed for the urban context and to be housed in TCI University. The AYSRH toolkit will mirror the structure of TCI-U’s global toolkit, with “how to” guidance for each proven approach complemented by the actual URHI and global tools and resources that can be used in cities implementing the Initiative’s proven solutions.
The AYSRH toolkit and other Initiative resources will support the implementation of AYSRH approaches in those cities that want to include a youth component within their family planning/reproductive health programs.
A key advantage of TCI Youth – and part of the reason why it was able to move so quickly – is that in most TCI Youth locations, local governments are already implementing TCI’s proven family planning approaches aimed at increasing contraceptive access among all women of reproductive age (15-49). Although TCI is already reaching youth ages 15-24 through its family planning interventions, government leaders expressed interest in solutions to help youth avoid unintended pregnancies so that they could stay healthy, stay in school and pursue their goals.
Governments implementing TCI Youth adopt its concentric circles strategy (below) aimed at making youth visible through data, advocating for youth-friendly cities at the government and community level, engaging diverse youth populations through segmented demand generation, and addressing provide bias and service quality at health facilities. TCI Youth considers the unique reproductive health needs of young people at different life stages, based on their education status, marital status and parity.
In India, TCI Youth is a first-time parents program, focused on reaching young families with modern contraceptive options to help space their children. In Kenya, where there is a high pregnancy rate among unmarried teenagers, TCI Youth focuses on linking unmarried youth to youth-friendly health facilities that can help them prevent early, unintended pregnancies. Since all local governments implementing TCI’s family planning programs are reaching young people, TCI has started to adapt its approaches in all of its 90 implementing locations based on key learning from TCI Youth’s experience.