This document is intended for global and national decision-makers and family planning (FP)/reproductive health (RH) program implementers in USAID priority countries. It discusses the need for investments in adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH) programming that include social behavior change (SBC) interventions, and illustrates a targeted approach for programming. It presents the scope and type of potential SBC investments for addressing pregnancy among unmarried and married adolescents. Targeting the right audiences with the right set of messages is essential for SBC, especially when promoting complicated behavior change, like pregnancy prevention, birth spacing, and modern contraceptive use. One method for targeting programming for adolescents is by marital status: in settings where early marriage is the norm, it is the predominant contributor to adolescent pregnancy. Thus, the FP/RH needs of girls who have never been married are different than the FP/RH needs of girls who become brides and mothers during adolescence. Effective AYSRH interventions must consider and tailor their programming for the unique circumstances of girls in each situation.
Breakthrough RESEARCH. 2019. “Prioritizing and targeting social behavior change investments to address adolescent pregnancy in USAID priority countries,” Programmatic Research Brief. Washington, DC: Population Council. [4-page brief]