EDC promotes improved health outcomes for adolescents by influencing their decisions about sexual and reproductive health and family planning. Our work is based on rigorous research to inform our strategies for reaching adolescents in a particular setting, to design messages and services that appeal to youth, and to evaluate the impact of these interventions on knowledge and behavior. To achieve lasting improvements in health behaviors, EDC’s engagement with youth is long-term, frequent and robust – many of our programs offer valuable incentives for young people, such as leadership training or work readiness skills, to ensure uptake of key messages and maximize impact and sustainability.
We frequently integrate sexual and reproductive health and family planning into broader programs targeting in-school, out-of-school and at-risk youth in the settings where they are most likely to be found and retained, such as schools, youth centers, or vocational training programs. We develop curricula and teacher training programs for public school systems, and we have a long track record of reaching hard-to-reach youth who have dropped-out of school. . EDC uses an appropriate mix of multimedia, facilitated trainings, peer-led activities, interactive and experiential learning, and mass media to reach youth audiences with vital health messages. EDC also integrates HIV services into its SRH projects through testing and counseling, comprehensive and age-appropriate life skills education, and treatment referrals.
In addition to creating demand for services among youth, EDC also works with youth, leaders, and clinicians to improve the delivery of youth-friendly services. Where this is often a major barrier to adolescents’ accessing health services, EDC engages young people to identify problems and develop solutions for improving care that meets their specific needs, and works with health care providers to improve service delivery, outreach and quality. These activities increase care seeking among young people and improves long-term treatment adherence for chronic health issues.