Recognizing the potential of the world’s 1.8 billion young people to contribute to achieving global health goals, the US Agency for International Development’s MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership, led by Jhpiego, is announcing a new initiative to engage the adolescents and youth of India, the world’s largest youth population, in decisions about their reproductive health by participating in services designed by and for them.
MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership: India project will focus on family planning (FP) and reproductive health (RH) for young people and contribute to the achievement of India’s national FP goals. The project will support the FP/RH needs of India’s marginalized youth in urban and rural areas of Assam, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
International Youth Day, celebrated around the world on August 12th, is a fitting reminder that sustainable global progress will not be achieved without meaningful participation of the 1.8 billion young people, 90% of whom come from low- and middle-income countries, like India.
Young people, aged 15–29 years, comprise more than 27.5% of India’s population and, according to the National Youth Policy 2014, contribute about 34% of India’s gross national income. However, this cohort is underserved when it comes to their sexual and RH needs, despite the Sustainable Development Goals for universal access to sexual and RH care services, including FP, by 2030.
Around the world, MOMENTUM engages in global initiatives and provides technical and capacity development assistance to country partners to apply evidence and best practices to accelerate progress toward sustainable improvements in the health of women, children, and families. This approach emphasizes partnerships, mentoring, mutual accountability, co-investment of resources, program technical rigor, and adaptive management to accelerate delivery of high-quality, evidence-based interventions at scale to reduce maternal, newborn and child mortality and morbidity.
In India, MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership will leverage the potential of the highest demographic dividend (the youth) by building and steering inclusive development, harnessing private sector engagement, promoting digital innovation and youth-centric advocacy and building local, national and international partnerships.
MOMENTUM will catalyse lessons learned and promote adaptation of evidence-based, high-impact interventions proven in previous investments in FP/RH for youth, and it will demonstrate other innovative models to accelerate improvement in young people’s FP/RH outcomes.
On the demand side, MOMENTUM will work to improve young people’s knowledge, attitude, practices and service utilization by increasing their agency to demand and access solutions that enable them to make positive FP/RH choices and also improve the accessibility and affordability of quality FP/RH care and products. On the supply side, the project will strengthen systems through evidence generation and policy advocacy, strengthen youth-friendly ecosystems by increasing community/policy support for young people’s well-being and strengthen health systems to maintain essential FP/RH services for young people, particularly within the context of COVID-19 and other health emergencies.
By the end of the four-year project, MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership: India envisions transformed public-private partnerships and investments in the development sector that are more inclusive of adolescents’ and young people’s priorities and an enhanced youth ecosystem in which young people make informed decisions about their health and well-being.