You need to be an advocate for meaningful youth engagement. It’s not enough just to have a few youth representatives in a room full of adults. No! You must question if the youth representative actually has a voice, and if he/she doesn’t, then you need to figure out how to give him/her a voice. By this, I mean you may have to brainstorm ideas on how to empower young people to speak up in public gatherings in front of adults who might hold very high positions in government or private companies.
I would also say that it is not hard to work in this field, and it is not easy to work in this field. It is trying, and it’s going to open you up to a lot of possibilities that you never thought of, and it’s going to shake your core sometimes. The important thing is to know what you want out of working in this field, and know where you’re going with it.
In this conversation, Elezer highlights his definition of meaningful youth engagement, how young people should take the reins of solution design for ASRH issues and how he juggles several commitments while keeping sexual and reproductive health rights at the center.
From biomedical HIV prevention to “V ineka that, that, that!”: Early lessons from implementing “V” in Zimbabwe
By designing alongside young women using these principles, oral PrEP was freed from the medical associations of an HIV prevention product originally meant for key populations like sex workers, injection drug users, and men who have sex with men, to a self-care product that fits seamlessly into the lives of young women like Rumbi and her peers.
One young woman described “V” as “V ineka that, that, that!” which translates to “in a class of its own!”
Leveraging an HCD approach to explore private sector access for PrEP for HIV prevention services for AGYW in Lesotho
Learnings from this project can be used to more effectively de-medicalize and destigmatize products across the entire HIV continuum of care, as well as other diseases. Focusing on the entire user journey, from end-to-end, can help countries, partners, and donors design more appropriate, relevant, and accessible products and processes that enhance uptake and adoption, leading to better health outcomes. Whenever possible, future projects and programs should seek to incorporate HCD lessons and insights from previous work to improve scale but also ensure that local needs and specific populations are tailored to.
In this conversation Rachael speaks about her experience as a new human-centred designer, how to initiate conversations around ASRH and how collaboration between Community-Based Organisations and Human-Centred Designers is integral to unpacking ASRH solutions to the end user.