Improving Program Approaches for Youth

The world population has the largest cohort of adolescents in history entering into their reproductive years, yet these adolescents face particular challenges in accessing and using contraceptives. As a result, both married and unmarried adolescents experience some of the highest levels of unintended pregnancy globally.

Effective programming for youth takes into account the context within which they make decisions about their sexual and reproductive health needs. It also addresses the barriers they face in accessing services as a result of age, marital status, sexual activity, schooling, work status, and mobility.

The Evidence Project strives to identify through implementation research effective family planning/reproductive health interventions along the adolescent’s life course and to reach this population with appropriate information and services that are relevant and specific to the varying ages and stages of adolescence.

Addressing both the supply of and demand for contraception, the Evidence Project will pay close attention to underserved populations (e.g., adolescents living in urban slums, young married adolescents). On the supply side, the project is generating evidence on ways to improve family planning program approaches for youth that promote better health outcomes and better social and development outcomes at later stages in their lives. On the demand side, the project is generating and synthesizing evidence on how to enhance demand for information and services, including fostering positive norms concerning contraceptive behavior.