is a physical room that is youth-friendly and where young people can access information and services such as SRH advice, life-skills and recreational activities. They may include clinical services on-site.
IPPF Springboard Guide, 2006
Sexual and reproductive health services
provided by youth centres can include a broad range of clinical and non-clinical services: family planning counselling and provision including condom distribution; voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) for HIV; general counselling; and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
is a multi-dimensional term that can include a variety of different concepts at both an individual and collective level. It is about participation in decision making, but also includes processes that lead people to perceive themselves as able to, and entitled to, make decisions. This study looked at a broad range of outcomes for measuring empowerment.
KEY TERMSTHE EFFECTIVENESS OF YOUTH CENTRES IN LOW AND MIDDLE-INCOME COUNTRIES FOR PROMOTING THE UTILIZATION OF SRH SERVICES AND YOUTH EMPOWERMENT
A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW
A systematic review of previous studies on the effectiveness of youth centres was undertaken by LSHTM. In total, 11 databases and key organizations’ websites were searched, including, amongst others, IPPF, UNFPA, UNICEF, Pathﬁnder and the Population Council. A total of 3,769 articles were screened against inclusion criteria designed to identify studies that had evaluated youth centres in low and middle-income countries and that had measured young people’s use of SRH services (whether clinical or non-clinical) and/or empowerment outcomes. 22 studies reporting on 18 youth centre programmes were included in the formal literature review.
Most youth centres are mainly used by boys and young men, many of whom are older than the target age group.
Youth centres are usually used by a relatively small number of young people who live close to the centres.
Young men and boys primarily come to use the recreational services, not the SRH services.
More young women use the SRH services, but uptake is often low.
The impact of youth centres on empowerment outcomes were more difﬁcult to assess because there were so many different ways that studies looked at this outcome.
There was some evidence of positive changes in empowerment. However, the evidence for this was not strong.
Common barriers to uptake of youth centre services included:
Distance to the youth centre, often linked with restrictions on young people’s time, particularly for girls
The signiﬁcant role of parents as gatekeepers, either allowing or forbidding attendance
Stigma attached to attending the youth centre because of its association with a family planning organization.
Most youth centres had a peer education outreach component, which was seen as a key aspect of their work. However, the contribution of the peer educator role was rarely evaluated.
Limited cost data were available, and where available showed that providing clinical services through youth centres was expensive per client.
Most youth centres are used by young people who live locally
I P P F / N a n c y D u r r e l l M c K e n n a / S w a z i l a n d / 2 0 1 1