260297 Improving adolescent girls' sexual and reproductive health through global policy advocacy

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Denise Dunning, PHD/MPA/MA , Public Health Institute, Oakland, CA
Emily Teitsworth, MA , AGALI Program, Public Health Institute, Oakland, CA
Advocacy is crucial to improving the lives of adolescent girls globally. Adolescent girls have limited access to health services and are restricted by political frameworks that negate their sexual and reproductive rights.

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

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 support Fellows' advocacy strategies.

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

Results of AGALI advocacy strategies in Liberia include adoption of the national Children's Law, guaranteeing comprehensive protections to adolescent girls. In Guatemala, results include adoption of a national sexual violence protocol providing integrated services to adolescent girl survivors of abuse, and creation of youth policy commissions that secured increased budgetary allocations for girl-friendly programs. AGALI Fellows are also advocating to: ensure that HIV prevention policies are girl-friendly in Ethiopia, increase the legal age of marriage in Malawi, and expand access to comprehensive sexuality education in Honduras.

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

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe an innovative model to strengthen leaders’ capacity to advocate for the sexual and reproductive 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, Adolescents, International

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: For the past three years, I have worked as the Program Director / Principal Investigator, directing the Adolescent Girls' Advocacy & Leadership Initiative.
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.

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