This document provides guidance to programme designers, implementers, policy and decision-makers on how to meaningfully engage adolescents in the AIDS response and broader health programming. It discusses the principles of meaningful collaboration, recommendations for engaging with adolescents, and offers case studies of meaningful youth participation.
Adolescents (10–19) are the only age group in which AIDS-related deaths are not decreasing. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes a specific goal to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. Within this goal it includes a specific target that aims at ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
To end the AIDS epidemic by 2030, specific yet flexible strategies are needed for different age groups, populations and geographic locations. Ending the epidemic among adolescents requires amplifying investments where they can make the most difference and fostering innovation not only among governments, international organizations, civil society and the private sector, but also among adolescents and youth themselves.
The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to programme designers, implementers, policy and decision-makers on how to meaningfully engage adolescents in the AIDS response and broader health programming, and to demonstrate why adolescents and youth are critical in efforts to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. It also highlights what steps should be taken to implement programmes and policies that improve adolescent health outcomes (including for HIV) at the national, regional and global levels.
The following principles have been adapted from the Minimum standards for consulting with children, which was developed by the Inter-Agency Working Group on Children’s Participation. In order to collaborate with adolescents and youth in a meaningful way, it is important to follow six key principles.
- Transparency, honesty and accountability
- Equitable opportunities/focus on the most marginalized
- Safety and protection of adolescents and youth
- Commitment and competency of adults
- Multisectoral approach to programming with and for adolescents
- Systematic opportunities for participation, mobilizing resources and avoiding ad hoc and occasional engagement