In 2018, Population Reference Bureau (PRB) and the International Youth Alliance for Family Planning (IYAFP) conducted interviews and focus groups in three Ethiopian regions to assess implementation of youth-friendly contraceptive services.
Our research showed that young Ethiopians face barriers like lack of privacy, stigma, and lack of available providers that prevent them from accessing contraceptive services. And although many young people ages 15 to 24 rely on radio and television as their main sources of family planning information, focus group discussions revealed that youth often don’t receive the information they need to prevent unintended pregnancies that may result in unsafe abortions. Despite these barriers, the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) has made strong policy commitments to provide sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services—including contraception—to adolescents and youth in health centers and clinics.
Ethiopian youth leaders from IYAFP, with support from PRB, designed advocacy materials that share key data related to youth reproductive health and showcase select findings from the assessment that revealed gaps between policy commitments and implementation.
One advocacy team created a fact sheet and short video calling on the FMOH and regional health bureaus to convene bimonthly forums for youth and health bureau leaders to discuss the National Adolescent and Youth Health Strategy’s implementation.
A second advocacy team developed a fact sheet and animated video targeting the Addis Ababa Regional Health Bureau and Ethiopian media institutions, urging them to work together to dedicate prime-time airtime to share SRH information tailored to young people.