UNFPA Technical Guidance for Prioritizing Adolescent Health

Posted by Kimberley Meijers on January 3, 2017 at 3:35 pm



Adolescent health has become a priority on the global agenda. Many low- and middle-income countries increasingly recognize that achieving the Sustainable Development Goals requires greater investments in adolescents’ health and development. National governments and partners see the importance of prioritizing adolescent health within their larger health programmes – including reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health – and want to know where and how to invest their resources and efforts.

This technical guidance, developed by the UNFPA- and WHO-led Adolescent Working Group of Every Woman Every Child, aims to support countries to both advocate for increased investments in adolescent health and to guide strategic choices and decision-making for such investments to be reflected in national development policies, strategies or plans. It describes a systematic process for identifying the needs, priorities and actions for adolescents to survive, thrive and transform their societies as envisioned through the Global Strategy of Every Woman Every Child. Data sources, resources and tools for conducting a situation assessment and prioritization exercise are also included.

What is the purpose of this guidance document?

The purpose of this guidance document is to support national and sub-national stakeholders to both advocate for increased investments in adolescent health, and to help guide strategic choices and decision-making for such investments to be reflected in relevant national policies, strategies or plans (e.g., RMNCAH plans, adolescent health strategies, etc). This document can further guide a systematic process for ensuring adolescent health priorities are covered across the spectrum of actions required for adolescents to survive, thrive, and and bring about transformative change as envisioned through the Global Strategy, such as, for example, to guide the selection of priorities in the context of the Investment Cases of the Global Financing Facility in support of Every Woman Every Child (GFF). As this document focuses specifically on adolescent health, it can further be used in conjunction with broader tools and resources making investment cases for RMNCAH, including the Operational Framework for the Global Strategy for Women’s Children’s, and Adolescents’ Health. This technical guidance will further be complemented by the forthcoming Global Framework for Accelerated Action for the Health of Adolescents (AA-HA!), which will aim to provide countries with a basis for developing a coherent national plan for the health of adolescents.

Who is this guidance document intended for?

This document can be used by a range of stakeholders interested in adolescent health. The primary audience are the national and sub-national level decision makers in different government departments, as well as non-governmental organizations, civil society bodies or youth-led organizations, that work for — or contribute to — the health and development of adolescents. This includes a wide range of sectors including health, education, youth, women’s affairs, and social protection. Furthermore, global and regional partners representing bilateral, multilateral, the private sector, development banks, research institutions, and think tanks who are supporting countries in their national-level prioritization processes could further maximize their collective engagement by utilizing this guidance.