Understanding Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health-Seeking Behaviors in Ethiopia: Implications for Youth Friendly Service Programming

In Ethiopia, significant programmatic attention has been given to improving youth sexual and reproductive health services, including the establishment of youth-friendly services. Yet high rates of child marriage, unmet need for family planning, and adolescent childbearing persist. In addition, with over 80 percent of the Ethiopian population living in rural areas, reaching rural youth is a unique challenge given the country’s vast rural landscape and limited infrastructure.

The Evidence Project is examining the coverage and reach of public and NGO-supported youth sexual and reproductive health services in several rural regions of Ethiopia. The study focuses on the service utilization patterns, behaviors, and experiences of youth, ages 12-29 years, females and males, unmarried and married, and in-school and out-of-school. The study is also assessing providers’ and influential adults’ perceptions of the barriers to and opportunities for services geared to meeting the unique needs of youth.

The knowledge generated from this study will provide evidence to inform future programming on youth sexual and reproductive health services in Ethiopia.