Category Archives: News

Research with Adolescents

Image for UNICEF event

 How to Do Research with Adolescents Living in Low- and Middle-Income countries?

When: Thursday, November 16th 2017

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. (EST)

About the webinar

Despite increasing focus on adolescent wellbeing globally, comprehensive data collection systems and research for effective interventions are lacking. Practitioners and policy-makers often ask, “How do we know what works?” and “How do we get this evidence?”

To assist with generating better evidence for adolescent programming and policy, in May, 2017, the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti,  Columbia University, and members of the Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing released a series of briefs on Conducting Research with Adolescents in Low- and Middle-Income Countries.

This webinar offers an overview of the briefs, focusing on what is unique about research with adolescents, best practices for working with them, and key knowledge gaps. It also provides an opportunity for discussion with the series editors, including: indicators and data sources, ethics, research with disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, participatory research, social and structural determinants, and adolescent economic strengthening interventions.

Speakers:

John Santelli, Professor, Population and Family Health, Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health and Lancet Commissioner

Nikola Balvin, Knowledge Management Specialist, Office of Research-Innocenti

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Youth Network Members

Introducing the newly appointed “Youth Network Members” for the Lancet Standing Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing

Congratulations to the six “Youth Network Members”. We are thrilled to announce the six successful candidates to The Lancet Standing Commission’s Youth Network. As members of the Youth Network, over the next 6-9 months they will work with both youth commissioners from the 2016 Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing (Dakshitha Wickremarathne and Kikelomo Taiwo-Idowu) to develop a plan for broad youth engagement with the Standing Commission. Additionally, they will engage with members of the Standing Commission in its work-plan

The Youth Network will work with the Standing Commission to take forward the work around the six recommendations from the 2016 Lancet Report. This included a recommendation about the importance of partnering with young people for their health.

Amanda Bosco

AB imageAmanda Bosco is a youth activist and human rights defender advocating for LGBTI rights, sexual and reproductive health rights. She is a peer educator for the Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum where she reaches out to grassroot communities including young key populations. Amanda is a civic graduate of the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI). She is also a volunteer with the youth coalition for sexual and reproductive Rights and the UN women informal reference group on LGBTI issues. Amanda is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Business administration and also working part-time at Transgender Equality Uganda as an advocacy officer.

Jordan Tewhaiti-Smith

JTS imageJordan Tewhaiti-Smith is currently a medical student from Martinborough, New Zealand who has a passion for Indigenous health, Māori health specifically. Since a young age, Jordan has realised a desire to change the health outcomes for his people and brings with him a network of Māori individuals all who stand for their own whānau (family), hapū (sub-tribe) and iwi (tribe). Jordan has a strong interest and belief in the effects of research on the health of communities, and has completed projects is the fields of Māori health (hauora), children’s health (tamariki ora), gang health and the health of young men (tāne ora). In his short time after finishing high school Jordan has worked with multiple organisations focusing on health and health workforce development these being Kia Ora Hauora (an organisation working with Māori youth to support them into health careers), the Māori Health Workforce Development Unit and the University of Otago. Jordan has represented Māori at key organisational events, most recently winning the Royal Australasian College of Physicians Indigenous Prize. Jordan is proud to now be representing Youth and Adolescent Health at an international level and this further supports his innate commitment to improving health for young people. Na reira, naku te rourou, nau te rourou ka ora ait e iwi (with your basket, and my basket, the people will live).

Mariam Naguib

Naguib_Mariam (3)Mariam Naguib is a medical student at the University of Toronto. She is interested in the intersection of health equity and human rights though the lens of systems thinking and advocacy. Her work has focused on health systems with her current work with the Munk School of Global Affairs on reaching the hardest to reach, her past work as a Junior Fellow for Engineers without Borders on water and sanitation and her work at McGill University on access to health care for refugee claimants in Canada. She seeks to empower youth through her efforts on restorative justice circles, and create ways to channel their passions with past coordination of the Amnesty International Human Rights College and in her everyday encounters. Mariam can be found navigating the power of Twitter, @mariammnaguib

Natasha Kaoma

IMG_9663-1Natasha Salifyanji Kaoma is an international sexual and reproductive health and rights advocate and Medical Doctor. She is passionate about the empowerment of youth, women and girls which promoted her to co-found Copper Rose Zambia, a youth-led organization that works with adolescents and women by providing sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) awareness, menstrual hygiene programs and economic empowerment. Natasha has over 8 years experiencing in advocacy for youth friendly services and SRHR awareness. She has been involved in the integration of family planning, SRHR and menstrual hygiene management in adolescent health programming. She serves as the Country Coordinator for the International Youth Alliance for Family Planning, is a member of the Youth Coalition on Sexual and Reproductive Rights, where she supports the inclusion of young people in policy making with regards to reproductive health. Natasha is a 2017 Queens Young Leaders award recipient, Zambian Women of the Year-Healthcare Champion, Local Pathways fellow, Royal Commonwealth Society Fellow, and an Alumnus of both the University of Delaware and University of Zambia. She is currently pursuing a qualification on Leading Change at Cambridge University, UK.

Shanshan He

SH imageShanshan is a young activist promoting adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and rights. Volunteering for over 4 years in China Family Planning Association (CFPA), Shanshan was elected as the Alternate Youth Representative of IPPF ESEAOR, sits in the Regional Executive Committee, and represents ESEAOR in the Governing Council. She used to serve as the National Coordinator of Youth Peer Education Network (Y-PEER), supported by UNFPA. With the experience of coordinating with more than 200 universities and conducting peer to peer trainings, Shanshan works collaboratively with different organizations and youth groups. She is now leading China Youth Network (CYN), a first ever youth volunteer organization that undertakes peer education on SRH and advocates for SRH and rights for young people (aged 10 to 24) in China.

Surabhi Dogra

SD imageSurabhi Dogra is a budding development professional from India. At 16, she undertook a school-level UN MDG-5 project supported by UNICEF India and Bhutan, which fuelled her passion to delve into the discipline of public health.  She received the University of Delhi Gold Medal for her academic performance in her bachelors’ degree in Mass Communication. She completed her Master’s degree in Social Work in Public Health from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences where she received awards for best fieldwork and academic performance. Her Master’s Dissertation was focused on researching the impact of access to mHealth on maternal health. She hopes to synthesise her academic interests and visual communications training towards advancing the field of Health Communications in India. Her other areas of interest include mHealth, reproductive health, ICTs in development and youth advocacy and communications. Through her fieldwork experience and internships with organisations such as SEWA Bharat, YWCA and Tata Memorial Hospital, Surabhi has and continues to engage with adolescents across urban slum settings of Delhi and Mumbai as well as rural villages of Rajasthan and Maharashtra.  Surabhi enjoys capturing rural life through her lens in her spare time. She has also enjoyed exploring theatre as a form of expression for young people in the capacity of an actor, writer and director.

Youth, Peace and Security Report

4Youth are uniquely affected by humanitarian crises and conflict. The United Nations Security Council, on 9 December 2015, set a historical precedent by unanimously adopting a ground-breaking resolution on Youth, Peace and Security which recognises that “young people play an important and positive role in the maintenance and promotion of international peace and security”. This landmark resolution urges Member States to give youth a greater voice in decision-making at the local, national, regional and international levels.

Mandated by UNSC Resolution 2250, the UN Sustainable Development Solution Network – Youth Initiative (SDSN Youth), has released a thematic paper on ‘The Impacts of Climate Change on Youth, Peace and Security’. The paper focuses on countries in the Middle East and Africa. To reinforce the critical role of 1.1 billion youth in sustainable development globally, surveys and polls were launched in collaboration with the U-Report team at UNICEF. The paper explored the impacts of climate change on the security and development of youth in the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.

The paper is an official supporting document of the Progress Study on Youth, Peace & Security mandated by United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250. The Progress Study will be submitted to the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly at the end of 2017.


Read the report


UNSCR 2250 (2015) identifies five key pillars for action: participation, protection, prevention, partnerships and disengagement and reintegration. This resolution urges Member States to give youth a greater voice in decision-making at the local, national, regional and international levels and to consider setting up mechanisms that would enable young people to participate meaningfully in peace processes.

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Women Deliver Young Leaders Program

Dear Subscribers,

Young-Leader-Shareable-IIThe Women Deliver Young Leaders Program is now recruiting its next class of Young Leaders.

Started in 2010, the Young Leaders Program provides youth advocates with the training and resources necessary to extend their influence and actively shape the programs and policies that affect their lives. Currently comprised of 400 youth advocates from more than 100 countries, the new class of 300 new Young Leaders will join the program early 2018.

Young people between the ages of 15 and 28 from all countries are welcome to apply and you can access the application here. The application closes on 13 October, and the incoming class of Young Leaders will be selected and notified of their acceptance in December 2017.

As advocates for adolescent and young adult health, wellbeing, and rights, we encourage all young adults to apply. So spread the word about the Young Leaders Program with your friends, and colleagues.

If you need more information:

Get more details on the Young Leaders Program application process.
Visit the Women Deliver Youth Website.
Follow Women Deliver Youth on Twitter.
Follow the Young Leaders Program on Facebook.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity!


APPLY HERE


Kind regards,

The LancetYouth team

Application closing soon

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Establishing a Youth Network for The Lancet Standing Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing

Dear Subscribers,

We are looking for SIX young health advocates and/or professionals (18-29 years) from diverse backgrounds, to work with us to set up a Youth Network for The Lancet Standing Commission. This expression of interest (EoI) comes with an expectation (funding dependent) that those who setup the Youth Network will also have an ongoing role as a member of the Network.

Please share this EoI with your friends, colleagues and networks. Remember application close 5 PM AEST on Monday 21st AUG 2017.


APPLY HERE


We are seeking young leaders with experience in one or more of the following:

  • Advocacy or communication related to adolescent health and wellbeing.
  • Work (paid or voluntary) at a local, national or international level in an area related to adolescent health and wellbeing.
  • Work (paid or voluntary) for an organisation that has a national and/or international role in adolescent/youth health and wellbeing.
  • Work in a related area of practice (i.e. law, health, journalism, economics, education, research).

We hope that you will bring your own networks of young people, have experience with youth participation and youth leadership and an ability to communicate well in English (spoken and written).

To apply please provide:

  • A two-minute video application, on “how you would like to contribute to the Lancet Standing Commission”
  • A completed application
  • Your curriculum vitae

We expect that the majority of successful applicants will be between 18-24 years, however applicants up to 29 years are also encouraged to apply.

All applicants must have a valid passport with a minimum of 1 year until expiry.

We are particularly interested in the participation of young health advocates and professionals from low and middle income countries (LMIC). For that reason, priority will be given to applicants with origins from LMICs.

PLEASE COMPLETE THE APPLICATION BY 5 PM AEST ON 21st AUG 2017.


APPLY HERE


 

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Establishing a Youth Network

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Establishing a Youth Network for The Lancet Standing Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing

The Lancet is establishing a Standing Commission to continue the work of The Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing. The 2016 Commission report included recommendations for engaging and partnering with young people as agents for change. Over the past few weeks, we have been working with Dakshitha Wickremarathne and Kikelomo Taiwo-Idowu, our two youth commissioners from the first phase of The Lancet Commission, to develop a process to establish a youth network for The Lancet Standing Commission.

We are looking for SIX young health advocates and/or professionals (18-29 years) from diverse backgrounds, to work with us to set up a Youth Network for The Lancet Standing Commission. This expression of interest comes with an expectation (funding dependent) that those who set up the Youth Network will also have an ongoing role as a member of the Network.

Please share this expression of interest (EOI) with your friends, colleagues and networks.


APPLY HERE


We are seeking young leaders with experience in one or more of the following:

  • Advocacy or communication related to adolescent health and wellbeing.
  • Work (paid or voluntary) at a local, national or international level in an area related to adolescent health and wellbeing.
  • Work (paid or voluntary) for an organisation that has a national and/or international role in adolescent/youth health and wellbeing.
  • Work in a related area of practice (i.e. law, health, journalism, economics, education, research).

We hope that you will bring your own networks of young people, have experience with youth participation and youth leadership and an ability to communicate well in English (spoken and written).

To apply please provide:

  • A two-minute video application, on “how you would like to contribute to the Lancet Standing Commission”
  • A completed application
  • Your curriculum vitae

We expect that the majority of successful applicants will be between 18-24 years, however applicants up to 29 years are also encouraged to apply.

All applicants must have a valid passport with a minimum of 1 year until expiry.

We are particularly interested in the participation of young health advocates and professionals from low and middle income countries (LMIC). For that reason, priority will be given to applicants with origins from LMICs.

PLEASE COMPLETE THE APPLICATION BY 5 PM AEST ON 21st AUG 2017.


APPLY HERE


this-generation

 

Child marriage

The rippling economic impacts of child marriage

By Suzanne Petroni, LancetYouth Commissioner, Senior Director, Global Health Youth and Development, ICRW and Quentin Wodon, Adviser, Education Sector, World Bank

child marriage

Globally, more than 700 million women alive today married before the age of 18. Each year, 15 million additional girls are married as children, the vast majority of them in developing countries. Child marriage is widely considered a violation of human rights, and it is also a major impediment to gender equality. It profoundly affects the opportunities not only of child brides, but also of their children. And, as a study we issued this week concludes, it has significant economic implications as well.

Every day, we learn more about the drivers of child marriage in different contexts and the ways in which to help end this harmful practice. But to date, we have had only limited information on the negative impacts of the practice across countries, and very little understanding of its economic costs.

The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and the World Bank have been collaborating on a multi-year research project to assess these impacts and costs. We looked at the impacts of child marriage on early childbearing, fertility, contraceptive use, intimate partner violence, educational attainment, earnings in adulthood, and decision-making ability within the household, among other outcomes. We also considered impacts on the children of child brides, including, for example, their risk of being stunted and of dying before age five.

Our collaboration, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and the Global Partnership for Education, concludes that child marriage imposes very significant social and economic costs, not only at the individual level, but also for societies and for the intergenerational transmission of poverty.

child marriage23We unveiled our findings at the World Bank’s headquarters in Washington, DC. Our study finds that child marriage could cost developing countries trillions of dollars by 2030 — the year by which the UN, through its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), calls for the elimination of the practice.

By far the largest economic cost related to child marriage is from its impact on fertility and population growth. By contributing to larger families and, in turn, population growth, child marriage delays the demographic dividend that can come from reduced fertility and investments in education. The associated cost could run in the trillions of dollars globally (in purchasing power parity) between now and 2030.

Other costs are substantial as well. By 2030, countries could see tens of billions of dollars in benefits from the reduction that ending child marriage would bring in stunting and child mortality.

Ending child marriage would also have tremendous positive effects on girls’ education, which in turn would bring many additional benefits. Increased educational attainment for girls contributes to women having fewer children later in life, increases their lifetime expected earnings, improves household income, reduces their likelihood of experiencing intimate partner violence and increases their ability to make decisions. In relation to earnings, our study shows that the interruption of education as a result of child marriage reduces the earnings of child brides in adulthood by 9 percent on average, which has negative impacts for households and national economies.

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To ground these figures at the country level, consider this:

In Niger, the country with the highest prevalence of child marriage in the world, eliminating child marriage in 2015 would have led by the year 2030 to annual benefits of up to $1.7 billion in additional welfare, $327 million in savings to the education budget, $34 million through reduced infant mortality, and $8 million through reduced child stunting. In addition, earnings today are $188 million below what they could have been without child marriage, and these losses would grow over time if child marriages continue. Altogether, failing to end child marriage would cost the country billions of dollars, with the impact falling disproportionately on the poor.

Findings from the study demonstrate that child marriage is not only a social issue, it is very much an economic issue. We hope that by demonstrating these economic costs, we will be able to foster broader investments to end this harmful practice and ensure that all girls have access to the opportunities and the futures that they deserve.

This blog was originally posted on Medium and on the World Bank blog. For more insights about the Economic Impacts of Child Marriage, visit website.

Self-harm 20 years on

Twenty-year outcomes in adolescents who self-harm show worrying levels of substance abuse

7515771442_5bec2aa61b_oAn Australian study by researchers from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) that followed a sample of almost 2000 Victorian school children from the age of 14 until the age of 35 found that social disadvantage, anxiety, and licit and illicit substance use (in particular cannabis), were all more common in participants who had reported self-harm during adolescence.

The longitudinal study, the Victorian Adolescent Health Cohort Study, was the first in the world to document health-related outcomes in people in their 30s who had self-harmed during their adolescence. Until now, very little has been known about the longer-term health and social outcomes of adolescents who self-harm.

Published in the brand new Lancet Child and Adolescent Health journal, the study found the following common elements:

  • People who self-harmed as teenagers were more than twice as likely to be weekly cannabis users at age 35
  • Anxiety, drug use, and social disadvantage were more common at age 35 among participants who had self-harmed during their teenage years. While most of these associations can be explained by things like mental health problems during adolescence and substance use during adolescence, adolescent self-harm was strongly and independently associated with using cannabis on a weekly basis at age 35 years
  • Self-harm during the adolescent years is a marker for distress and not just a ‘passing phase’

The findings suggest that adolescents who self-harm are more likely to experience a wide range of psychosocial problems later in life, said the study’s lead author, Dr Rohan Borschmann from MCRI.

15582255270_eb0ff87cb4_o“Adolescent self-harm should be viewed as a conspicuous marker of emotional and behavioural problems that are associated with poor life outcomes,” Dr Borschmann said.

The study found that anxiety, drug use, and social disadvantage were more common at age 35 among participants who had self-harmed during their teenage years.

“While most of this can be explained partly by things like mental health during adolescence and substance use during adolescence, adolescent self-harm was strongly and independently associated with using cannabis on a weekly basis at age 35 years,” Dr Borschmann said.

Interventions during adolescence which address multiple risk-taking behaviours are likely to be more successful in helping this vulnerable group adjust to adult life.

Coherent policy approaches need to be implemented that focus on reducing the prevalence of common underlying population-based risk factors (eg harmful alcohol consumption and antisocial behaviour) and, to maximise the effectiveness of such policies, a response from multiple sectors, including the education, health, and community sectors, is required.


Lancet Commission Chair, Prof George Patton is the principle investigator and data custodian of the Victoria Health Cohort Study. Dr Rohan Borschmann (Centre for Adolescent Health, MCRI, Melbourne) led the writing of the paper and Denise Becker, Carolyn Coffey, Elizabeth Spry, Margarita Moreno-Betancur, Paul Moran, Prof George Patton all contributed to the writing of the paper.

Evidence gap maps and ASRH

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You’re invited to the YouthPower Learning Webinar:

                          What do we know?                          Evidence gap maps regarding adolescent sexual and reproductive health and related transferable skills programming in LMICs

The Gender and Positive Youth Development (PYD) Community of Practice invites you to its upcoming webinar on evidence gap maps (EGM), regarding the effects of adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) and related transferable skills programming in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The webinar will be hosted on July 12 from 10:00 to 11:00 am EST.


Register here!


In the past couple of years, the International Imperative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) has developed evidence gap maps to facilitate access to evidence and prioritize investment in research related to youth and transferable skills (YTS) and adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH).

Mario Picon, 3ie’s Senior Evaluation Specialist, will provide an overview of two recent 3ie evidence gap maps focused on youth sexual and reproductive health programming, as well as the intersection with transferable skills.

  1. Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Evidence Gap Map
  2. Youth and Transferable Skills Evidence Gap Map

The presentation will provide:

  • A brief explanation of 3ie’s EGM objectives and process,
  • A summary of the two relevant EGMs, and
  • Recommendations on how stakeholders, such as ASRH program funders, implementers, researchers, and youth support organizations, can use the EGMs in programming and planning.

The presentation will be followed by a discussion on how these products can help inform ASRH programming and research investment.

To participate virtually  on the day of the event, click on the following link and enter as a guest: https://youthpower.adobeconnect.com/gender/

To learn more about the event, speaker, and agenda, visit the event webpage here.

webinar

Global Adolescent Conference

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Missed attending this years Global Adolescent Health Conference in Ottawa? You can relive every moment of the conference via the CanWaCH YouTube Channel. All sessions – keynotes, plenaries and breakouts – are available to watch here.

Below you will find direct links to sessions that our Commissioners presented.

Using Accountability to Advocate for Adolescents
What are the ingredients needed to develop functional accountability mechanisms that monitor, review and act against organizational, global and national commitments? This interactive session will provide participants with resources to help build stronger advocacy and accountability mechanisms, including highlighting an innovative program of data collection from youth themselves through UNICEF’s U report.

Moderator: Prof. George Patton, Chair, Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing and University of Melbourne, Australia

  • Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta, Co-Director & Inaugural Robert Harding Chair, SickKids Centre for Global Child Health and Founding Director, Centre for Excellence in Women and Child Health, Aga Khan University
  • Caroline Riseboro, President & CEO, Plan International Canada
  • Marion Cosquer, UNICEF’s U Report Youth Participant, France

Session Presentation

Mental Health for Adolescents: A Call to Action
Mental health issues are the leading causes of death and disability in youth globally. New knowledge from neuroscience and public health is transforming our understanding of why most mental health problems affect youth. This knowledge forms the foundation for an evidence based approach to preventing mental health problems through an inter-sectoral approach, with young people at the heart of the agenda.

  • Dr. Vikram Patel, Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Session Presentation

How do we pay for this? Financing Adolescent Health
This interactive discussion will address actions needed to secure equitable, gender responsive investments for adolescent health. It will present recent findings that support a positive return on investments for adolescent health, discuss how to pay for the SDG and EWEC targets, and look at financing on development through both the funding arm of the Global Strategy, the Global Financing Facility, and complimentary and parallel financing mechanisms which will be important to address financing gaps in humanitarian and fragile settings.

Moderator: Julia Sánchez, President & CEO, Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC)

  • Ambassador Marc-André Blanchard, Canada’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations
  • Prof. George Patton, Chair, Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing and University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Mariam Claeson, Director, Global Financing Facility
  • Dr. Emanuele Capobianco, Deputy Executive Director, Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health

Session Presentation

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