Aspirations versus Reality: Exploring Factors Affecting Meaningful Youth Participation in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Programme in Rural Kenya

  • Humphres Evelia Globus Associates Questream
  • Phoebe Ndayala Kenyatta University
  • Anna Page Rutgers
  • Charles O Wafula Tropical Institute of Community Health and Development
  • Judith Westeneng Rutgers
  • Johnstone Kuya Kenya Royal Dutch Embassy Riverside Nairobi Kenya
  • Faith Chesire Tropical Institute of Community Health and Development
Keywords: Meaningful Youth Participation, Adolescent Sexual, Reproductive Health, Rights, Youth Involvement, Implementation Research, Kenya, Community Health Strategy
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This paper presents the results of an implementation research of a pilot intervention, mainstreaming meaningful youth participation in a health care management system in Western Kenya with the aim to address adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). This qualitative case study included 29 key informant interviews and 13 focus group discussions conducted in five community health units across four counties. The results demonstrate positive attitudes towards the principle of youth participation, yet, also a mismatch between the aspirations of young people to be active decision-making agents and the actual roles and responsibilities assigned to them. This paper further identifies factors that inhibit and enable effective youth participation at multiple levels; individual (such as education, discipline, migration, gender); organisational (such as guidelines and structures, financial support, and political interference) and societal (norms seeing SRHR as taboo and young people as unequal to adults), and formulates recommendations to address these.


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15 March, 2021
How to Cite
Evelia, H., Ndayala, P., Page, A., Wafula, C., Westeneng, J., Kuya, J., & Chesire, F. (2021). Aspirations versus Reality: Exploring Factors Affecting Meaningful Youth Participation in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Programme in Rural Kenya. East African Journal of Health and Science, 3(1), 31-44.