This compendium is intended for USAID education officers as a practical guide to support governments in developing countries that desire to establish or strengthen school health programs, sometimes also called schools-based health promotion programs. The most important factor for the success of robust school health programs in developing countries has been the creation of strong partnerships between ministries of education and ministries of health. Strong partnerships with other stakeholders, such as private sector partners, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and community-level stakeholders, are also extremely important. This compendium is also written for education and health professionals in other bilateral and multilateral development agencies, ministry of education staff working in policy and programs, and private sector businesses looking for ways to support the health and learning of youth. It may also be useful to stakeholders as they advocate for resources for school health and nutrition programs in ministries of education, communities, or development agencies. By addressing USAID education officers among the variety of partners who have made school health programs strong, this compendium acknowledges sectoral consensus on the importance of a strategy for school health that coordinates the resources of stakeholders that intersect at the school level (the Focusing Resources on Effective School Health [FRESH] Framework and the Health Promoting School Framework [HPS]). These strategies have been cited and adapted by most developing countries as they establish school health programs because the strategies lead to programs that capitalize on the strengths of all relevant partners to improve the health status and health knowledge of learners and to strengthen learning outcomes. The compendium covers eight key principles to consider when starting a school health program; seven steps to establishing a program with the Ministry of Education; challenges to implementation; suggested indicators of success; and essential reading.
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