Young people’s participation in HIV/AIDS prevention programmes

Export Indicator

Progress in formally involving young people in the programming cycle of HIV/AIDS prevention programmes targeted at them
What it measures

The involvement of young people has been identified as a key characteristic of successful programming for them. The participation of young people in matters affecting them is a right stipulated in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Moreover, it has been recognized that participation can contribute to healthy development and act as a catalyst for the attainment of other positive health and development outcomes for adolescents. Participation can also increase the relevance and acceptance of adolescent programmes, thereby improving their delivery and effectiveness. This indicator shows whether HIV/AIDS prevention initiatives and programmes targeting young people at the national level have formally involved young people in the design, implementation, governance and/or assessment of the interventions and whether formal structures or processes have been set up for doing so. What are considered to be formal structures or processes has to be defined in each national context. They can include, for example, youth advisory boards, opinion polls and participatory consultations. There are two criteria to consider: 1) whether the involvement of young people is formalized (i.e., an advisory board, etc), and 2) whether the structure or process for promoting participation is operational. This generally means that it should have been active during the preceding 12 months or in the relevant instances during the programming cycle.


Not applicable


Not applicable

Method of measurement

This indicator can be collected simultaneously with the policy indicator (indicator No. 1 in this chapter), which specifies the following three key types of programmes/interventions particularly relevant to HIV/AIDS prevention among young people.
1. IEC campaigns focused on HIV/AIDS prevention and targeted at young people.
2. The provision of life-skills-based education in schools.
3. The provision of youth-friendly health services.
In each of the above programme areas an assessment should be made as to whether young people are involved in the following key stages of the programming cycle: assessment and design, implementation, governance/oversight, and monitoring and evaluation. Each assessment should include both a qualitative description of how the young people are involved and a score that reflects how well they are involved. Scoring should be based on the following points system: 2 = full involvement of young people; 1 = partial involvement of young people; 0 = no involvement of young people. For example, if young people were involved in a participatory needs assessment before the implementation of an IEC campaign, 2 points would be given for item 1.
1. Assessment: Were the needs of young people assessed through participatory methods before the programme was designed? (Conducting a participatory needs assessment would be included as a positive response, whereas conducting a survey of young people where they were merely respondents does not qualify as participatory.)
2. Design: When the programme was being designed, was the opinion of the target population actively sought as to the most appropriate methods/approaches of programme delivery? Were young people involved in designing such methods/approaches?
3. Implementation: Is young people’s participation in the implementation of the programme e.g. as peer educators, an integral part of the delivery strategy?
4. Governance/oversight: Does the governance/oversight structure of the programme include young people? (It could be a separate structure specifically for young people, e.g. a youth board, or it could be incorporated into structures led by adults. In either case, the role of young people vis-a-vis the adult-led oversight/governance structures should be assessed.)
5. Monitoring and evaluation: Are young people involved in tracking progress in programme implementation (monitoring) or in assessing its effects (evaluation), e.g. as junior researchers or in similar roles, but not merely as respondents in surveys or other means of data collection?
Within each of the three key programme types specified above the points given to each individual item can be summed so as to obtain an overall score:
Sum of scores from each individual item 5 (number of total items)
If there is more than one respondent the numerator should include the sum of all the respondents’ scores and the denominator should be multiplied by the total number of respondents. These scores provide an overall assessment of the extent to which young people have been actively involved in the programmes targeted at them and can even be used to compare participatory efforts in different programmes because most interventions, regardless of their topic and means of delivery, go through the stages of the programme cycle specified above. However, the overall scores are of limited value as the most meaningful information is in the qualitative description of the extent of young people’s participation in each stage of the

Measurement frequency

Age group:

Education: N/A

Gender: N/A

Geographic location: N/A

Pregnancy status: N/A

Sector: N/A

Target: N/A

Time period: N/A

Type of orphan: N/A

Vulnerability status: N/A

Explanation of the numerator
Explanation of the denominator
Strengths and weaknesses

This indicator is simple to collect and, if assessed simultaneously with the policy indicator, does not require any additional data collection. Being a national-level indicator, it is limited to overarching categories and structures of participation. In order to describe the participatory processes undertaken in a programme properly, measurement must occur at the level of the intervention and should capture the quantity as well as the quality of participation, i.e. the proportion of young people involved at any stage of the programming cycle as well as the quality of their involvement. Nevertheless, the indicator is a useful measure of whether, and to what extent, national-level programmes targeted at young people are seeking to involve them. This is a qualitative exercise: information is collected by means of interviews with a limited number of informants. In most countries the selected respondent is likely to be the manager of the national AIDS programme. The score of the indicator depends on a somewhat subjective assessment of the level of participation in the programme concerned. For this reason it is desirable that more than one respondent be interviewed so that a more comprehensive picture can be obtained. An effort should be made to retain the same composition of the informant group over a number of years in order to guard against differential recall bias.

Further information