142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Adapting an old-school tool for the new world: Gender integration to improve youth peer education anywhere and for anyone

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 10:54 AM - 11:06 AM

Joy Cunningham, MPH , Research Utilization, FHI 360, Research Triangle Park, NC
Robyn Dayton, MPH , Research Utilization, Youth Team, FHI 360, Durham, NC
Marta Pirzadeh, MPH , Research Utilization: youth, FHI 360, Durham, NC
The 2010 FHI 360 publication Evidence-based Guidelines for Youth Peer Education offers guidance for successful YPE programming, but does not emphasize gender considerations. After receiving feedback on the need for more guidance on gender integration, FHI 360 began researching the role of gender in YPE.

We found that

  • Even the most well run YPE program will fail to meet the needs of, and may even be inaccessible to, those who are most vulnerable if gender-related barriers to program participation are not considered. For example, young women may be unable to attend YPE programs if public meeting spaces are not considered appropriate for young women.
  • Reproductive health programs that explicitly promote gender equality are more effective; moreover, many of the behaviors that YPE programs seek to change — such as multiple sexual partnerships for young men or poor condom negotiation skills for young women — are rooted in harmful gender norms. 
  • YPE programs offer an excellent opportunity for peer educators to model gender-equitable behaviors, making an abstract concept more tangible.

With this evidence and feedback from the field, we revised the Guidelines to advocate for increased gender integration in YPE and to provide step-by-step guidance on how to plan, implement and evaluate a YPE program that promotes gender equality. The new Guidelines also emphasize reaching the most vulnerable and addressing gender-based violence. Finally, because the gender analysis tool in the Guidelines is designed to inform local adaptation, this guidance works wherever YPE is used.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Identify youth peer education as an ideal platform for programming that transforms gender norms. Recognize the gender-related barriers to peer education programming that meets the needs of the most vulnerable young people in a given setting. Design locally tailored gender-sensitive youth peer education programs.

Keyword(s): Gender, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I managed the development of the resource being presented.
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.