Nigeria—Youth-Powered Ecosystem to Advance Urban Adolescent Health

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2020-2025

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Nigeria

Solutions: Economic Growth Global Health

In Nigeria, the growing urban youth population includes an increasingly marginalized segment—adolescents who are out-of-school, unmarried, married, or underprivileged, facing high rates of sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies. Unfortunately, they also face more barriers in accessing accurate, reliable health information, as traditional programs have struggled to reach them or meet their needs.

The U.S. Agency for International Development-funded Youth-Powered Ecosystem to Advance Urban Adolescent Health activity empowers young people with skills, social capital, and resources needed to realize their full potential. The program improves adolescent health by increasing access to voluntary family planning services and situating family planning within a broader, more holistic context of youth empowerment, coupled with a deeper understanding of the challenges that adolescents face.

The program works to improve skills for healthy living and future planning; foster an enabling social and policy environment for adolescent health and development; and increase youth workforce readiness, job opportunities, and entrepreneurship to address socioeconomic determinants of adolescent health.

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Sample Activities

  • Establish youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health and rights services and other social support.
  • Support youth leadership training to equip teenagers to advocate for family planning and reproductive health services in local policies and budgets.
  • Integrate youth-led, human-centered design to ensure that project interventions meet adolescents’ needs.
  • Implement social and behavior change activities combined with youth engagement with local policymakers and private sector partners.
  • Partner with public and private sector organizations to secure job training placements for poor urban youth, and run mentorship services from the youth centers.

Select Results

  • Conducted formative research that explored the characteristics, interests, behaviors, and needs of urban adolescents, ages 15-19.
  • Launched six sustainable Youth Hubs.
  • Reached more than 60,000 adolescents using the locally adapted SKILLZ United curriculum in Lagos, with 58,829 graduating and 55,338 enrolling in follow-on SKILLZ Clubs.
  • Provided contraceptive methods to 64,954 young people, of which 67 percent are new users.
  • Leveraged free family planning commodities from the state governments in Lagos and Kano to project’s Youth Hubs (the first of its kind to any project).
  • Engaged young people throughout project implementation, particularly by forming the youth advisory committees in Lagos and Kano.
  • Trained 216 multi-cadre providers to strengthen capacity in basic contraceptive technology, respectful, youth-friendly counseling, and the commodity logistics management system.
  • Strengthened capacity of 840 youth champions in social and leadership skills, who will lead youth advocacy initiatives in their respective communities.
  • Successfully integrated menstrual hygiene and nutrition to adolescent programming within both states of operation (a key approach for reaching most in-need youths).
  • Contributed to international, national, and state policy dialogues, technical working groups, and conferences.


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