‘Advocating for Change for Adolescents’ Toolkit

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15/01/2019 12:00 am

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Today, there are more young people in the world than ever before, including 1.2 billion adolescents. Young people can bring about unprecedented societal and economic progress. However, they can only transform the world if they survive and thrive. Adolescence is a critical phase in the development of physical, cognitive, emotional, social and economic capacities. At present, too few adolescents are able to reach their full potential. In fact, it is estimated that:

  • 1.2 million adolescents died of preventable or treatable causes in 2015.
  • Complications in pregnancy and childbirth were the leading cause of death for 15-19 year-old girls globally in 2015.5
  • In 2015, there were an estimated 1.8 million adolescents aged 10-19 years living with HIV. Young people aged 15-24 years accounted for an estimated 35% of new HIV infections among adults aged 15+ years; and older adolescents (ages 15-19) were the only age group among which AIDS-related deaths were not declining in 2015.

In addition, millions of adolescents find themselves displaced by conflict or disaster and are in need of humanitarian assistance. This is especially critical for adolescent girls, as crises heighten their vulnerability. Adolescents and young people are uniquely positioned to be effective advocates to hold their governments accountable for the delivery of promises, policies and programs that affect their lives. Now, more than any other time, young people have the opportunity to take action to advocate for adolescent health and well being!

About this Toolkit

This toolkit was developed by young people, for young people, to be used by networks of youth-led and youth-serving organizations to change the world! The toolkit will also be useful for others, including civil society groups, government departments and everyone concerned with adolescent health and well-being.

The purpose of this toolkit is to guide the design, implementation and monitoring of an effective national advocacy action roadmap to bring about positive policy-specific changes to improve the health and well-being of adolescents. Each of this toolkit’s five chapters includes examples and exercises that will assist you and your networks to influence your country’s national health planning processes.

After reading the chapters and completing the exercises you will have all the information and tools you need to advocate effectively,
and to hold your government accountable for adolescent health and well-being in your country.

  • Chapter 1 prepares you for action to improve adolescent health and well-being
  • Chapter 2 shows you how to gather information on national policies, strategies and plans
  • Chapter 3 shows how you can use global commitments for adolescent health and well-being
  • Chapter 4 explains how you can develop an effective advocacy action roadmap
  • Chapter 5 describes how you can review, re-strategize and monitor actions in order to achieve better results.

As you get started, you may likely find that you already have a firm grasp on many of the concepts shared across the chapters. Feel free to expand your learning and understanding further by checking out the additional resources included at the end of each chapter. And as you move forward with the exercises, remember that they are meant to help you organize your thoughts. Do not be afraid to be
creative and tap into your passion for adolescent health and well-being issues. Advocacy efforts can go much farther when you are thinking outside of the box!

Read the ‘‘Advocating for Change for Adolescents’ Toolkit’

Corporate Author: Women Deliver and The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health

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