The Philippines Hub Launches its Own Toolkit of Proven Approaches for TCI University
The Challenge Initiative (TCI) is now working in the Philippines with the Zuellig Family Foundation (ZFF) and Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) to help reduce teenage pregnancy by helping cities become more youth friendly. One of TCI’s first undertakings with ZFF, POPCOM and the Department of Health (DOH) was to identify evidence-based family planning and adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH) interventions that would best address the Philippines’ needs, particularly in urban slums. A selection of these interventions are the basis of TCI’s new Philippines’ toolkit, which is now live on TCI University.
Various factors inhibit city governments in the Philippines from addressing adolescent and youth issues in accessing reproductive health programs despite operational policies encouraging them to prioritize adolescent and youth health. With the COVID-19 pandemic, these challenges are further aggravated with quarantines and lockdowns restricting actual movement of health workers to provide reproductive health services and for young people to access these services. City leadership and governance are critical for rapidly scaling up and sustaining proven family planning and AYSRH interventions, especially during these disruptions in reproductive health services and reallocation of financing to the pandemic response.
POPCOM Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez III recently told The STAR that an additional 214,000 more babies are projected to be born this year due to the community quarantine implemented to stop the spread of COVID-19. This means that by year’s end, the country’s population would have increased by 1.91 million.
As a result, it is crucial that local governments prioritize planning for and implementing proven to work and promising family planning and AYSRH solutions. TCI met virtually Sept. 14 to Oct. 1 with its Philippines’ partners to identify which proven solutions should be included in a Philippines-specific toolkit for TCI University. These deliberations resulted in the identification of eight relevant TCI proven approaches that have been adapted for the Philippines context:
- Resource Mobilization/Financing for AYSRH Programs
- Data for Decision-Making
- Adolescent-Friendly Health Services
- Postpartum Family Planning
- Meaningful Youth Engagement
- Intergenerational Dialogue
- Coordinating and Harmonizing SBC Efforts
- Comprehensive Sexuality Education
In addition, it identified four Philippines-specific approaches that will be codified for scale up by local governments, including:
- ZFF’s Leadership Program
- Policy Development for AYSRH Programs
- Information & Service Delivery Network (ISDN)
- Engaging Parents to Ensure Community Support
TCI is looking forward to seeing these approaches in action and getting feedback from local government units as they make adaptations to fit their particular contexts. Please visit the toolkit regularly and send feedback so it can continue to be enhanced.