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Youth-centered comprehensive sexuality education advocacy project in Costa Rica, Panama and Peru

Denise Kohn, MPH, Amanda Claremon, MPH, and Maria Antonieta Alcalde. International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region, 120 Wall Street, 9th FL, New York, NY 10005, 212-214-0285, dkohn@ippfwhr.org

IPPF/WHR is working with Member Associations (MAs) in Peru, Costa Rica and Panama to identify and address barriers to implementing comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) curricula in programs and the external environment.

The principal project goal is to: Change laws, policies, and norms at the national, local, or school levels. Objectives include to: strengthen the capacity to advocate for CSE; increase youth capacity to advocate for CSE.

The principal strategy for MAs is to advocate for the inclusion of comprehensive sexuality education within national or local curricula. Each MA has determined their own activities based on local needs.

The project was launched with a workshop that included an advocacy strategy session and mapping exercise. Workshop participants included MA staff that are decision-makers, program staff, youth, and Board members. Youth were included in the design of the project and mapping exercises.

The workshop helped MAs to understand the importance of a well-coordinated advocacy strategy and to map their community and policy environments. Participants identified aspects of CSE to work on; weaknesses in CSE in their community; barriers to implementing CSE; factors working to their advantage; other organizations working on CSE; networks to support the advocacy process; media; the current sexuality education curriculum; existent CSE curricula and possible adaptations; and realistic change.

When each MA completed the country mapping, work plans, objectives and indicators, advocacy planning and activities were determined. IPPFWHR will provide technical assistance throughout the life of the project, and will help build capacity and provide resources to the MAs.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Advocacy, Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered

Policy and Advocacy Best Practices

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA