Teen Pregnancy and Access to Contraception

September 2, 2020


In this webinar, panelists discussed how HCD can be leveraged to address teen pregnancy and young people’s access to contraception.


Dr. Christine Wambugu

Program Manager, Ministry of Health, Kenya

Andy Awiti

Creative Strategist, Scope Impact

Theo Gibbs

Design Lead, YLabs

Dr. Rose Adjei-Bempah

Ghana Country Consultant, Women First Digital

Ipsa Agnani

Associate, HCDExchange


A policy approach to address teen pregnancy using HCD – Dr Christine Wambugu

Key Takeaways

  • Empathizing with adolescents allows us to clearly define the problem and ideate solutions. The adolescent is involved throughout the HCD process.
  • Science tells us that the judgment functions of the brain are last to develop at around age 21. It is important to harness adolescent brain development for good by encouraging “positive brain spirals” and preventing negative trajectories
  • Kenya launched its National Reproductive Health Policy (2020-2030) that promotes universal reproductive health literacy for adolescents.

Creating an enabling environment for collaboration and accelerated change in access – Andy Awiti

Key Takeaways

  • It is important to consider aspects of an adolescents’ life including uncertainties during the transition to adulthood, peer pressure, misinformation, exploration and reproductive activity in defining one’s identity
  • Social constructs: males have low involvement in accessing contraceptives but may control over household expenditure. Sex and contraception are taboo subjects.
  • There is a lack of comprehensive age-appropriate reproductive health education, services are catered towards married women, the health system is strained (especially with COVID-19).

Using HCD to tackle provider bias in contraceptive services for youth – Theo Gibbs

Key Takeaways

  • Provider bias is a driver of poor quality SRH care for adolescents.
  • Beyond Bias is the first project to use HCD in partnership with AYSRH, behavioral economics and evaluation, and segmentation analysis technical experts to address the challenge of provider bias; the goal is to design and test scalable innovative solutions to address provider bias toward serving youth ages 15-24 with contraceptive services in Burkina Faso, Pakistan, and Tanzania.
  • We identified 11 major drivers of bias that fell into the three categories of biographic, situational, and societal.

The challenges and opportunities in partnering with young people – Dr. Rose Adjei-Bempah

Key Takeaways

  • Challenges of working with young people in the SRHR space include lack of empowerment to pursue individual interests, lack of financial muscle, under-prioritization of teenage pregnancy and contraception issues, lack of guiding policies, and inaccessibility to out-of-school youth and other vulnerable groups
  • Find My Method combats misinformation and helps people to make the right decision about contraception based on their needs and preferences
  • Using social media and internet trends can be an effective way to reach adolescent audiences.


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