Formative Research on Youth Peer Education Program Productivity and Sustainability

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Youth Research Working Paper No.3 Youth peer education (YPE) is a widely used approach to reproductive health promotion and HIV prevention, and the number of YPE programs globally continues to grow. However, donors, policy-makers, and programmers have few tools for assessing both the programmatic impact and the cost-effectiveness of YPE programs (i.e., “what works and what does not,” as well as “why or why not”). Before this study, no assessment tools existed that could measure core YPE components in a way that would allow generalizations to be made from one program to another. This lack of assessment tools has contributed to the challenges decision-makers face in evaluating existing programs or in making evidence-based decisions regarding the replication or scaling-up of successful programs. This paper reports on Phase 1 of a two-part research project conducted by FHI/YouthNet. The Phase 1 study had two objectives: • to describe the program dynamics, activities, costs, and outputs in two countries in order to identify the core elements of successful YPE programs, and • based on these core elements, to develop frameworks and tools (e.g., checklists) to assess YPE effectiveness and sustainability. To meet these objectives, the research study employed a descriptive, process evaluation approach to examine four well-established, community-based programs in Zambia and the Dominican Republic. The data collection period continued for 18 consecutive months.


Gary Svenson

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