Levers for Change

Improving sexual health of young people

Levers for change

Improving sexual health of young people - Levers for change

The following are examples of possible entry points for action that could aim to achieve each of the Outcomes of the AmplifyChange Theory of Change.

This is not an exhaustive list but can be considered illustrative of the types of activities that could be included in successful proposals for funding under the sexual health of young people priority.

Improving sexual health of young people - Levers for change

Outcome: Increased individual awareness of sexual and reproductive rights as human rights amongst young people

Possible entry points for action:
  • Developing and strengthening coalitions for the introduction of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) within school curricula at national, regional and school levels. 
  • Advocating for improved CSE quality assurance, such as strengthened teacher training, strengthened inspection and involvement of young people in assessment 
  • Introducing menstrual hygiene education into school curricula 
  • Advocating for more comprehensive sexuality education curricula, including topics such as gender, rights, violence, relationships and communication skills 
  • Working with community leaders and young people to develop structured CSE for young people who do not attend school 
  • Using new and mobile technology to develop new channels for accessing SRHR information and referrals to service providers. 
  • Harnessing the potential of social media to increase young people’s awareness of sexual and reproductive rights 
  • Raising awareness of the gaps between existing laws (both formal and customary or religious) and human rights 
  • Working with pharmacists to ensure that contraceptive methods that are available without prescription are also available to young people 
Improving sexual health of young people - Levers for change

Outcome: Increased access to sexual and reproductive rights resources, information and services for young people

Possible entry points for action:
  • Strengthening health worker education and monitoring of youth-friendly care standards, such as clinical audits, satisfaction surveys or community monitoring 
  • Establishing public-private partnerships to strengthen service quality and accessibility for young people, such as social marketing, social franchising and demand-side financing 
  • Involving young people in the governance and monitoring of SRHR services, including accountability mechanisms for violations of youth-friendly standards 
  • Interventions to increase awareness of availability of safe abortion services for young people and technologies and post-abortion care 
  • Creating a youth-led rating system for youth-friendliness or youth-centredness and accredit service delivery points that meet the standards 
  • Advocating to health and social care authorities to increase the range of services and products available, including emergency contraception and psycho-social counselling 
  • Ensuring adolescents as well as teachers and service providers are aware of available mental health support mechanisms for young people 
  • Piloting and monitoring peer provider programmes (within the laws and regulations of each context) 
  • Generating evidence on effective ways to increase young people’s access to SRHR information and services 
Improving sexual health of young people - Levers for change

Outcome: Transformation of social norms for the creation of supportive environments for young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights

Possible entry points for action:
  • Working with schools and education authorities to ensure that schools facilitate menstrual hygiene management amongst female students in a safe and dignified manner
  • Piloting and monitoring programmatic approaches that challenge harmful norms of masculinity and support young men to identify with and adopt positive gender identities 
  • Piloting and monitoring approaches that encourage intergenerational communication within families to support young people’s informed decision-making regarding sex and sexuality 
  • Involving parents and community leaders in advocating for improved comprehensive sexuality education within schools, or youth-friendly services 
  • Empowering teachers to provide comprehensive, accurate information on sexual and reproductive health and rights within classroom settings 
  • Empowering healthcare professionals to champion young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights, leading by example within their profession 
  • Facilitating dialogue between adolescents, their parents, teachers and SRHR service providers around good mental health and awareness of the linkages between rigid gender norms and power imbalances and adolescent suicide 
  • Facilitating dialogue between traditional leaders and young people to raise awareness of how harmful traditional practices affect young people and to ensure young people’s access to SRHR services and information
Improving sexual health of young people - Levers for change

Outcome: Positive change in law and policy for the realisation of sexual and reproductive rights for young people

Possible entry points for action:
  • Tracking budget allocations to CSE or youth-friendly service provision at national and subnational levels 
  • Advocating for the repeal of parental or spousal consent requirements for access to SRHR services and products 
  • Advocating for anti-discrimination laws and policies to be adapted and applied to health care settings to ensure access for young people of all genders and identities 
  • Canvassing young people’s knowledge and experience of laws and policies in relation to SRHR to highlight gaps between law and practice 
  • Working with lawyers and lawmakers to raise their awareness of how existing laws (both formal and customary or religious) violate young people’s sexual and reproductive rights 
  • Advocating for the production of clear, progressive guidelines for health professionals on young people’s positive right to access SRHR services and information