During 1990s and early 2000, Young people's reproductive health was
hardly reflected in National Health policies. The Reproductive
and Child Health programmes were not specifically designed to address young people. Advocacy as a strategy
aimed at influencing key decision and policy-makers for bringing about policy changes
that would provide a clear mandate for addressing young people's
sexual and reproductive health. Later (2006 onwards) when these policy
changes became visible in the NRHM and NACP III, advocacy efforts focused towards
translating policy directives into action at grassroots level.
Key constituencies for advocacy (parliamentarians, media, district functionaries, young people and Panchayati Raj institution members) were identified. In order to exchange ideas and strategies and form a joint force, dialogue between constituencies
was initiated and networking with other organizations was strengthened. The SRIJAN Network carried
out the advocacy initiatives at state and district levels. Core issues of Prevention of Early Marriage and Early Pregnancy, Youth and HIV, Sexuality Education, Adverse sex ratio,
Sexuality education (or Adolescence Education) and Youth Friendly
Health Services were taken up for advocacy.
A range of tools were developed to facilitate advocacy.
Advocacy kit was developed that provided young people specific data
on identified themes and elaborated on the roles and responsibilities of the concerned stakeholder/s.
‘Pratibimb’, a visual correlate, was designed to boost the communiqué.
Advocacy handbook was developed as a capacity building tool
that detailed out key concepts, advocacy mechanism; problem analysis; stakeholder identification and analysis matrices.
Attractive posters with key messages were designed, printed and displayed at strategic locations within the intervention sites/areas.