Scaling-up normative change interventions for adolescent and youth reproductive health: an examination of the evidence

Case Studies & Research
15 p.
Periodical title
Journal of Adolescent Health, vol. 64, issue 4, S16-S30

Adolescent and youth reproductive health (AYRH) outcomes are influenced by factors beyond individual control. Increasingly, interventions are seeking to influence community-level normative change to support healthy AYRH behaviors. While evidence is growing of the effectiveness of AYRH interventions that include normative change components, understanding on how to achieve scale-up and wider impact of these programs remains limited. The authors analyzed peer-reviewed and gray literature from 2000 to 2017 describing 42 AYRH interventions with community-based normative change components that have scaled-up in low/middle-income countries. Only 13 of 42 interventions had significant scale-up documentation. The authors compared scale-up strategies, scale-up facilitators and barriers, and identified recommendations for future programs. All 13 interventions addressed individual, interpersonal, and community-level outcomes, such as community attitudes and behaviors related to AYRH. Scale-up strategies included expansion via new organizations, adapting original intervention designs, and institutionalization of activities into public-sector and/or nongovernmental organization structures. Four overarching factors facilitated or inhibited scale-up processes: availability of financial and human resources, transferability of intervention designs and materials, substantive community and government-sector partnerships, and monitoring capacity. Scaling-up multifaceted normative change interventions is possible but not well documented. The global AYRH community should prioritize documentation of scale-up processes and measurement to build evidence and inform future programming.

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