RHO: Reproductive Health Outlook

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Table 2. Framework for Evaluating Programs for Adolescents

The FOCUS on Young Adults program has developed the following points to look for when evaluating adolescents' reproductive health programs.

Component

Benefits

Strategic planning

Effective programs clearly state process and behavioral objectives before the project begins as a prerequisite to measuring success.

Target audience identification

Adolescents have diverse needs that vary according to their characteristics such as age, school status, marital status, sex, family characteristics, and experience. In designing programs, it is important to identify the specific target group and to address their needs accordingly.

Needs assessment

Understanding the specific issues and needs of the adolescents expected to participate in or receive services from the program ensures that the program's design and content are appropriately shaped.

Youth involvement

Adolescents are most able to identify their own needs and will feel a greater sense of ownership of a program when they are included in design and implementation.

Community involvement

Community members, such as policy makers, health professionals, and religious leaders, should be involved in the program planning to ensure support and acceptance.

Adult involvement

Involving parents and other adult family members may help ensure that the program does not meet with resistance. Adult involvement also helps to educate parents about reproductive health issues and adolescent needs.

Protocols, guidelines, and standards

Specific and detailed operational policies governing how a program should serve adolescents may help encourage a consistent level of quality, particularly when service providers are unfamiliar with the adolescent population.

Selection, training, and deployment of staff

Staff providing services to adolescents require specific qualities and training to ensure that clients are treated well, and to keep clients satisfied.

Source: Adamchak et al., 2000.

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