Sexual and reproductive health knowledge
This indicator is a composite indicator or index measuring adolescents‘ knowledge of key sexual and reproductive health (SRH) topics and issues. The topics and issues included in the indicator should reflect those of primary importance for protecting the SRH of adolescents and/or those the program emphasized.
Evidence of knowledge of key SRH issues, usually solicited by means of personal interviews with or self-administered questionnaires completed by adolescents
The following is an illustrative list of topics that evaluators may include:
- The female menstrual cycle and conception;
- Ways to avoid pregnancy;
- Methods of contraception;
- Correct use of (at least) condoms and oral contraceptives;
- Existence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV;
- Means of transmission of STIs;
- Ways to avoid STIs; and
- Symptoms of STIs.
Evaluators may want to disaggregate by the following age ranges: 10-14, 15-19, and 20-24.
Surveys of adolescent program participants or of adolescents in the program‘s intended population
Adolescents must have knowledge of key SRH topics and issues if they are to make informed decisions to protect their health and well being. Many adolescents get their RH information from poorly informed sources (i.e., peers). Inaccurate beliefs concerning levels of risk associated with particular behaviors and/or the effectiveness and side-effects of different types of contraceptives can be strong enough to prevent adolescents from accurately perceiving the potential consequences of their behaviors. This indicator is a composite measure that includes the SRH topics and issues of primary importance for protecting the RH of adolescents and/or those topics and issues the program emphasized.
When interviewers question adolescents about these topics they should use local, non-scientific names to describe certain practices and conditions. Evaluators can and should analyze separately the individual topics and questions included in the composite index to determine those specific topics requiring further emphasis by the program. Although adolescents need accurate knowledge of SRH topics for informed decision-making, adolescents may not act in a manner consistent with their knowledge, such that evaluators need to measure behavior separately.
index, knowledge, adolescent