237494 Global advocacy for adolescent girls' health and rights

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 2:30 PM

Denise Dunning, PHD/MPA/MA , Public Health Institute, Oakland, CA
Background: Advocacy is crucial to improving adolescent girls' lives globally. Adolescent girls have limited access to health services and are subject to political frameworks that negate their sexual and reproductive rights.

Objectives: The Adolescent Girls' Advocacy & Leadership Initiative (AGALI) advances the health, human rights, and socio-economic wellbeing of adolescent girls in Guatemala, Liberia, Malawi, and Ethiopia by strengthening the capacity of civil society leaders to advocate for programs, policies, and funding benefiting girls.

Methods: Implemented by the Public Health Institute, AGALI's primary strategies include:

1. Capacity Building – Through intensive training, AGALI Fellows create advocacy strategies to improve adolescent girls' health and wellbeing.

2. Seed Grants – PHI competitively awards seed funds and technical assistance to the Fellows' organizations that demonstrate the greatest potential to advocate for girls.

3. Outreach Process – AGALI Fellows implement dissemination workshops to strengthen the capacity of grassroots organizations and adolescent girls' groups.

Results: Results of AGALI advocacy strategies in Guatemala include: implementation of sexual violence protocols providing comprehensive services to adolescent girl survivors of abuse, and the creation of youth policy commissions to advance girl-friendly public policies. AGALI Fellows are advocating to ensure that HIV prevention policies are girl-friendly in Ethiopia, increase the legal age of marriage in Malawi, and improve policies to help girls stay in school in Liberia.

Conclusions: AGALI demonstrates that leaders working with adolescent girls are ideally positioned to become advocates for this marginalized population. Program results are used to build the evidence base for programming for adolescent girls.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe an innovative model to strengthen international leaders’ capacity to advocate for the health and rights of adolescent girls and young women. 2. List the obstacles to adolescent girls' sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa and Latin America.

Keywords: Advocacy, Adolescent Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I direct the Adolescent Girls' Advocacy & Leadership Initiative, the program described in the abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.