Numerous reproductive health programs sponsor youth centers, which provide recreation and job-skills training as a means of attracting young people to seek reproductive health services or information. However, the productivity, cost, and cost-effectiveness of this approach are not clearly documented. In 2000, FRONTIERS conducted a cost analysis as part of a larger study on the effectiveness of three different youth center models in South Africa. The study focused on 8 of the 12 centers included in the larger study, chosen to be representative of each model. All the selected centers offered clinical services, seven also offered reproductive health information or life-skills training, and three also offered vocational and recreational services. The cost study examined the total costs for each center, as well as the cost of both a clinic visit and a reproductive health visit. As reported in this brief, the youth center model is a costly way of attracting young people to seek reproductive health information and services. Managers should identify their goals in providing multipurpose youth centers and identify the best models relative to these goals.
"South Africa: Youth centers: A costly way to provide reproductive health services," FRONTIERS OR Summary no. 66. Washington, DC: Population Council, 2007.
Frontiers in Reproductive Health