238027 Making International Guidance on Sexuality Education Work Locally: A Kenyan Case Study

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 2:30 PM

Joy Cunningham, MPH , Research Utilization, FHI 360, Research Triangle Park, NC
Kelly L'Engle, PhD, MPH , Behavioral and Social Sciences, FHI 360, Research Triangle Park, NC
Comprehensive sexuality education is a critical tool in efforts to curb the HIV epidemic and prevent unintended pregnancy among youth. Yet many countries have poor quality or no sexuality education, due largely to local resistance.

FHI, with support from USAID and in partnership with UNESCO, worked with the Kenya Ministry of Education (MOE) to strengthen national sexuality education by using UNESCO's International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education (ITGSE). The ITGSE contains recommendations for comprehensive sexuality education content. Interviews with educators, ministry officials, students, and parents in public and private schools, located in slum, urban, peri-urban, and rural school districts helped determine what sexuality content was being taught and what stakeholders' content preferences were. Next, we compared current content to that recommended in the ITGSE, and found that current content was lacking in several areas. FHI and the MOE wrote a report that documented these findings and stakeholder preferences, and outlined recommendations for using the ITGSE in Kenya.

The process culminated in a consultative meeting where MOE officials, NGOs, education practitioners, and others heard report findings and were oriented to the ITGSE. They then made recommendations on ways to improve sexuality education in Kenya. These recommendations were sanctioned by MOE officials, and a task force was initiated to carry them out. An update on progress since the meeting will be provided.

This presentation will share lessons from the process of improving sexuality education content in Kenya and offer recommendations for those interested in duplicating the work in other settings.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Learners will be able to describe the process of improving sexuality education. Learners will be able to generate specific ideas on how to promote use of the UNESCO International Guidance on Sexuality Education at the national level, in any country in which they work. Learners will be able to use tested tools for their own analyses of the implementation of sexuality education at a local or national level.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Adolescents, International

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I work on global health projects that directly adress sexual and reproductive health among various populations including youth.
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.