An Advocacy Kit on Youth Issues

(June 2006) Information about the well-being of youth around the world—their schooling; their health; and their transition to work, citizenship, marriage, and parenthood—has often been fragmented across topical and geographic lines and written in impenetrable technical language.

Now, a new advocacy kit produced by Population Reference Bureau (PRB) and Advocates for Youth and funded by the Summit Foundation gives advocates the information and tools they need to speak compellingly to policymakers about many of the challenges young people face worldwide.

Based on data and conclusions from the National Academies Press book Growing Up Global: The Changing Transition to Adulthood in Developing Countries, the kit provides a wealth of clear and concise data about economic, social, developmental, and health trends for youth—as well as proven policy steps for addressing those trends. Highlights of the kit include:

Four fact sheets on global trends and challenges for youth. These single-page documents feature key worldwide and regional data on such critical issues as child marriage, knowledge and use of contraception, HIV infections, school attendance, and early childbearing. The fact sheets also offer a host of policy recommendations and calls for action on these and other youth issues.

  • Youth and Parenting reports that rates of early childbearing—which can have adverse effects on both mothers and infants—are still high worldwide despite declines.
  • Youth and Marriage shows that, while young people are generally marrying later compared with earlier generations, child marriage is still widespread in many parts of the globe despite its significant health and economic costs.
  • Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health details a mixed portrait—while knowledge and use of contraception is increasing about young people, HIV infection rates, sexual coercion, and maternal deaths and disabilities are still major concerns.
  • Youth and Education outlines how school attendance is increasing for adolescents and how secondary schooling can help enhance the sexual and reproductive health of youth.

An executive summary of Growing Up Global, a 720-page book from the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine that features the latest research on the transition to adulthood for young people ages 10-24.

Tips for advocates seeking the support of opinion leaders and policymakers, along with recommendations for nongovernmental organizations that want to involve young people in their advocacy efforts.

The World’s Youth 2006 Data Sheet, a wall chart produced by PRB of health and well-being indicators for every country.

Youth in a Global World, an eight-page policy brief that summarizes the findings of both Growing Up Global and The World’s Youth 2006 Data Sheet.

“The kit is unique—it combines quick and easy-to-use fact sheets with a depth of information from the data sheet and policy brief,” says Rachel Nugent, director of PRB’s BRIDGE (Bringing Information to Decisionmakers for Global Effectiveness) Project. “It gives advocates the facts and the recommendations they need to move policy.”

The Population Reference Bureau informs people around the world about population, health, and the environment, and empowers them to use that information to advance the well-being of current and future generations. Advocates for Youth champions efforts to help young people make informed and responsible decisions about their reproductive and sexual health. For more information about the advocacy kit, email popref@prb.org.