Reaching Urban Youth with SBCC Tools and Resources

chooselifeUrban areas offer exciting and crucial opportunities, such as access to media, new technologies and high population-density.  It’s no wonder young people around the world flock to nearby metropolises each year. But with a large influx of youth to such bustling communities comes a higher vulnerability to health challenges.

When it comes to sexual and reproductive health, social and behavior change communication (SBCC) has been identified as a successful strategy for reaching youth, but programs targeted at this group face key challenges such as social marginalization, mobile populations, informal settlements, violence and crime.

In recent years, reaching youth has become an increasingly urgent issue based on the unprecedented growth pattern of this group. According to the UNFPA’s State of the World Population’s 2007 Youth Supplement, Growing Up Urban, “[t]he world is undergoing the largest wave of urban growth in history.”

Search Google and you’re likely to find more than one million websites that focus on the urgent health problems facing urban youth and how SBCC can help address them.  While the internet is phenomenal, sifting through the possibilities is time consuming and not always fruitful.

In Reaching Urban Youth, the newest Focus Package on the Health COMpass, you can bypass this process altogether and access carefully selected materials – both “how-to” tools and examples from projects worldwide – designed to help program managers, community workers and youth solve these serious and growing problems.

We’re anxious to know what you think of the materials and of how they are presented!  Please contact us at

Next up for the Focus Package Series – SBCC for Malaria – due out in mid-January 2014.

If you have materials that you’d like included in the Health COMpass, first register (it’s easy!) and then Contribute your materials.

Our contribution criteria are simple:

1. Was the item developed via a strategic process?

2. Has the item met or exceeded its intended purpose?

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