Availability of accessible, relevant, and accurate information about sexual and reproductive health tailored to young men

Availability of accessible, relevant, and accurate information about sexual and reproductive health tailored to young men

Availability of accessible, relevant, and accurate information about sexual and reproductive health tailored to young men

Number and types of sources providing accessible, relevant, and accurate information about sexual and reproductive health (SRH) that are designed specifically for adolescent boys and young men ages 10 to 24.

Sources can include media, health programs and facilities, peer education and mentoring programs, sexuality education programs for schooled and for out-of-school young men, workplace, and community-based reproductive health education and services.

Accessibility needs to be locally defined, depending on the geographic area and the modes of transportation and communication that are readily available to most of the population.  A geographic or programmatic catchment area needs to be defined. Materials and opportunities for program participation need to be readily available and accessible, ideally in male-focused and/or male welcoming formats and environments.

Relevant and accurate information addresses SRH needs, concerns, and risks for the target population with appropriate educational and motivational guidelines, materials, media messages, training, and educational curricula that have been rigorously researched, designed, and tested for the target age groups.

Data Requirement(s):

Reviews of programs and service facility training tools, curricula, and information sheets; reviews of media messages (e.g., videos, transcripts, and websites); surveys and interviews on accessibility of facilities, services, training, educational materials, meeting sites, schedules, male gender sensitivity and environment.

Data can be disaggregated by the type of sources, programs, and media.  If age targeting of materials and messages can be determined, the indicator can be disaggregated by age group (e.g., 10-14, 15-19, 20-24).

Service and program records, training tools, curricula, counseling guidelines, and information sheets; media messages and websites; surveys and interviews with clients and expert informants, such as, peer and health educators, school teachers, and community leaders.

This indicator measures access to SRH information for adolescent boys and young men, a group at high risk for SRH concerns, who are in need of information tailored for their purposes but are often reluctant to seek it out. This population has been generally underserved. Boys and young men ages 10 to 24 are an important target group for SRH programs since they are at critical ages for gender role formation, have many misconceptions about sexuality (their own and their partners’), may have their own issues of abuse, and tend to not be thinking about family planning, contraception, and STI/HIV prevention.  At the same time they may be more open to considering alternative views about gender roles than their older counterparts (UNFPA, 2003).

Outreach programs can be a successful strategy to target young men, especially out-of-school adolescents and difficult-to-reach youth. In many developing countries, young men drop out of school at an early age, and are often concentrated in specific industries such as transportation, agriculture, fisheries, and construction, where they can be targeted through programs and with various communication strategies and media.

The indicator can be used to compare information availability across catchment areas and to follow time trends.  A documented increase in sources over time may reflect a number of things, including a growing population of young men and boys, increased funding and focus on their needs, and/or increased attention and awareness within communities.

(Note: See link to UNFPA (2003) pp. 33-40 for lists of outputs and output indicators for programs and activities targeted for young men; See Promundo, UNFPA, MenEngage (2010), pp. 101-104 for a tool kit for monitoring and evaluating programs for engaging men and boys).

Generating an exhaustive list of sources providing information to young men and boys may be difficult depending on the catchment area. Reviews of the required materials and resources can be subjective and expert informants can be biased in their views of the programs and information disseminated.  The type of information that can be successfully presented may vary by context, cultural and gender norms and by the age for the clients within the relatively wide 10 to 24 year range.  The indicator does not reflect the impact of the information in effecting change in knowledge, attitudes and behaviors.

access, male engagement

Working with young men can have important benefits for them and for the young women they associate with. Boys tend to have sex earlier than girls, often gain status by having sex, and sometimes have first encounters with sex workers.  Young men may say they are informed about sexual issues but are frequently misinformed. Young men are not likely to seek health services and may view reproductive health solely as a women’s concern.

UNFPA, 2003, It Takes Two: Partnering with Men in Reproductive and Sexual Health, http://www.unfpa.org/upload/lib_pub_file/153_filename_ItTakes2.pdf

Promundo, UNFPA, MenEngage, 2010, Engaging Men and Boys in Gender Equality and Health: A Global Toolkit for Action. http://www.unfpa.org/public/site/global/pid/6815

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