Adolescents and youth face unique social and economic barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information and services, as evidenced by persistently high levels of unmet need for contraception, increased risk of maternal mortality, and disproportionately high levels of HIV and gender-based violence. While evidence exists to support select, key practices – including youth-friendly services, comprehensive sexuality education, community engagement to foster healthy norms and mass media interventions – these practices are often implemented in smaller endeavors that lack the scale to truly address the needs of youth and make the desired impact. There is an urgent need to document, produce evidence, and build partnerships to support the scale-up of best practices for adolescents and young people.
It is estimated that nearly half of the world’s current population is under the age of 25, with young people (age 10-24) making up 30-40% of the entire population in most developing countries. This situation presents an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate economic development and reduce poverty, but it also poses a challenge in terms of ensuring that their unique SRH needs are addressed.
With its focus on proven best practices, E2A identifies, adopts, and scales up evidence-based practices that best meet the SRH needs of adolescents and youth in each country context, with a focus on ensuring widest possible access to SRH information and services and elimination of barriers for young people. These practices range from the expansion of youth-friendly services within existing health services to training staff on youth-friendly service provision and facilitating user-friendly service points, coupled with activities in the community that foster the involvement of and linkages with other sectors for additional services.
E2A also provides global leadership in the provision of resource materials to facilitate the design and implementation of adolescent SRH projects and supports evidence generation, sharing, and application for proven adolescent SRH practices. E2A also builds and promotes global partnerships that support the scale-up of proven youth-friendly service delivery approaches. E2A's learning agenda supports the study of youth-focused emerging and promising practices, such as delaying early marriage and first births; reaching young married couples with healthy timing and spacing of pregnancy interventions; addressing gender and gender-based violence among young people and advancing the use of mobile health applications to increase uptake of FP/RH information and services as part of its mandate for evidence building.
E2A works with stakeholders, including young people themselves, to assess and develop context-specific interventions that draw from global evidence, with a focus on systematic introduction and/or scale-up to ensure sustainability and impact.
The E2A consortium brings long experience and expertise in the implementation of large-scale adolescent SRH projects in several countries, in addition to tools and methodologies that cover assessment, implementation, capacity building, and monitoring and evaluation of adolescent SRH projects. Those tools and methodologies can be adapted to country needs to ensure systematic, value-added and appropriate technical assistance provision to interested countries and stakeholders.