Powering Change, With Youth at the Helm

In Mozambique, one in two girls will marry and two in five girls will have given birth by age 18.

For the nation to achieve a demographic transition, it remains an undisputed priority to reimagine how Mozambican girls access the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) tools and services they need to own their health and life decisions. It’s a tall order – and one that PSI’s flagship Adolescents 360’s (A360) youth-powered adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH) programmatic blueprint is helping to drive forward.

Through UK Aid funding, Vale-a-Pena is applying the A360 Blueprint for AYSRH Change in Mozambique: proving that by putting girls and their influencers at the center of AYSRH program design, we can better understand what it takes to position contraception as valuable, relevant and accessible for adolescent girls, today.

The project is currently in its prototyping phase.

What We Know, and What We’re Aiming to Answer

There’s a lot about the A360 Blueprint that has been confirmed across A360’s early work across Ethiopia, Nigeria and Tanzania that we wanted to validate and contextualize in Mozambique.

  • Girls don’t see the relevance of contraception. AYSRH services, therefore, must complement and align with girls’ self-defined and attainable joys, interests and goals—like motherhood, for when she is ready.
  • One size does not fit all. Segmenting programming to account for where girls are in their unique life stages enable us to better respond to girls’ differing needs.
  • Girls often lack safe sources—and safe spaces—to turn to for questions about their health and lives. At the same time, girls seek community acceptance yet experience a sense of social isolation as they move into new life stages, like marriage and motherhood.
  • Youth-friendly health service provision furthers trust among consumers served, encouraging girls to return for more.
  • Increasing where and how girls engage with and partake in services reduces access to barriers.
  • Offering opt-out services removes friction by making it a norm to partake in contraceptive counseling.
  • Leveraging who girls define as safe influencers allows interventions to secure buy-in from those who shape how she makes her health and life decisions.

But there are new areas that present opportunities to expand what it means to take the A360 model to new places and across country contexts. Namely:

  • How can we engage influencers to understand the relevance of, to thereby encourage young people to access SRH services?
  • How can we address adverse gender norms?
  • How can we engage boys so they, too, see contraception as relevant for not only their partners, but for themselves?
  • How can we engage unmarried couples, particularly in environments in which adolescents stay mum about their relationship status?
  • How should we position contraception within a context with high rates of early marriage?

That’s where Vale a Pena comes into play: drawing from the A360 Blueprint, Vale-a-Pena aims to innovate how girls in Mozambique’s northern Nampula province and southern Gaza province aged 10-19 perceive and voluntarily access modern contraception.

Dive into Vale a Pena’s learnings to date– the prototypes unveiled, and findings and flubs uncovered. Click here to explore.

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