In August 2020, Knowledge SUCCESS embarked on a strategic initiative. Responding to knowledge-sharing needs expressed by adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH) professionals, it established a robust global Community of Practice (CoP). It worked collaboratively with a group of AYSRH professionals to create the Next Gen Reproductive Health (Next Gen RH) CoP.
Next Gen RH is dedicated to serving as an interactive platform for collaboration, innovation, knowledge sharing, and knowledge management training within the AYSRH sphere. It prioritizes:
Never before have there been so many young people globally—an unprecedented 1.8 billion youth. This presents a crucial and opportune time to build economic and social progress. Young people matter. How we meet the needs and aspirations of young people now will define our common future. They are shaping our global future and will have an impact on family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) programming.
The youth-led CoP is headed by two co-chairs in collaboration with 13 advisory committee members. The structure of this team of trailblazers creatively addresses considerations of representation and voice.
Next Gen RH advisory committee (AC) members are FP/RH practitioners based in Asia and Africa. They have a wealth of expertise and diverse experiences in AYSRH. Since March 2022, AC members have actively participated and engaged in monthly meetings organized by Knowledge SUCCESS and the youth co-chairs. The engagement involves:
Members have spent time on trust-building activities at each AC meeting and through WhatsApp chats, fostering the open sharing of experiences, challenges, and successes. This sets the tone for working collaboratively as a team.
(Hover over the photos then click to learn more about each member.)
AC members support the activity design process by serving as advocates for the Next Gen RH CoP at the global, regional, and country levels. They identify organizations and individuals to join the CoP.
Activities commence with a needs assessment to better understand the AC members’ operational and programmatic context. This includes filling in and discussing the socio-ecological model of the AYSRH professionals. Some of the insights and themes that have emerged in the past include:
Every week, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the Next Gen RH AC youth chairs hold two 30-minute coffee chat sessions with two advisory committee members. These meetings facilitate continuous social interaction and allow the team to get better acquainted.
The team also engages online through a WhatsApp forum to share timely feedback and generate more ideas about the design meetings.
The design process evokes learning among AC members. It generates insights and reflects regional and AYSRH-experience diversity among CoP governance and leadership. The design process aims to drive AYSRH innovation and modeling for programs and research. By the end of the process, Next Gen RH AC members have supported the development of a harmonized model to inform the future of AYSRH program design and execution. This promotes positive health outcomes for youth.
Next Gen RH recognizes that young people are agents of change! Please join the CoP on its IBP Xchange page (free account registration required) to receive updates and engage with the youth co-chairs, AC members, and general members!