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Adolescent Research in Brief: Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health in low- and middle-income countries


A synthesis of research findings for improved program development and implementation


Many protracted factors continue to escalate the Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) needs and adverse outcomes of adolescents and young people in Low and Middle Income Countries’ (LMICs) settings. These include political and economic structures, access to health services, poverty, income inequalities among sub-populations within countries, the education system, including access to education, employment opportunities for young people, migration, and cultural factors such as gender and ethnic inequality, as well as factors such as conflict and increasingly, climate change. In response to these mariad of factors, Governments and other development partners continue to implement various interventions and strategies; sometimes, with success, but other times, the investments result in no effects or are counterproductive.

This Research in Brief presents evidence on effective programs and the strategies that enable the implementers to (not) succeed. It provides clickable links to reports from promising programs to inform future intervention development and implementation.


The greatest benefits lie in implementing interventions that address malleable determinants such as daily living conditions, education and employment opportunities for boys, girls and women. Effective programs are multi-component, require longer program exposure, include economic empowerment activities directed at improving the conditions of daily life and addresses the inequitable distribution of power, money, and resources within sub-populations. Also, successful interventions are those that target the important reference persons (parents, teachers, religious leaders, health workers) in addition to adolescents, those that address structural inequalities through the engagement of boys and men, and those that include gender-transformative approaches and meaningful youth participation that incorporate the principles of social equity, equality, and human rights into intervention activities.