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COMMITTING TO ADOLESCENT WELL-BEING

Guidance Note for non-state actors on making organizational commitments in support of Adolescent Well-Being

2023 Global Forum for Adolescents as an Opportunity

1.8 Billion Young People for Change is a global campaign for adolescent well-being. We are calling for increased financing and policy action to meet the important needs of 1.8 billion adolescents and youth in the world today.

The campaign, launched in 2022, is supported by nearly 200+ organizations from all regions of the world, and continues to receive growing support from mor partners. It is coordinated by PMNCH (The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health) to advance the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

On 11-12 October 2023, the 1.8 campaign will celebrate a major milestone with the world’s largest-ever gathering for adolescent well-being. The Global Forum for Adolescents will be a two-day virtual convening of thousands of organizations – youth networks, governments, private sector, donors, the UN and others – to raise attention to the need for immediate action to advance the major determinants of adolescent well-being.

During – and in the immediate lead-up – to the October Forum, Governments and non-state actors are invited to pledge their support for adolescent well-being by making a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound) commitment. Commitments will be amplified and disseminated by the campaign for wider attention and support.

This Guidance Note aims to provide information to non-state actors, and all those who support them, about how SMART commitments can be created in association with the 1.8 campaign and the Global Forum for Adolescents.

 

Commitments developed in association with the Global Forum in October 2023 will shine a spotlight on opportunities to accelerate progress and strengthen accountability in countries already prioritising this population and build momentum in those where more attention is needed.

 

The commitments made by Governments and non-state actors will seek to amplify a focus on adolescents within existing frameworks and initiatives at global, regional, and national level while maintaining a clear and bold focus on adolescents as a neglected population and serve as a concrete and focused contribution to the SDG Summit in September 2023 and beyond.

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Who can make a commitment

PMNCH invites all stakeholders and constituency groups working to improve the well-being of adolescents and young people across the world to make bold commitments aligned with your organizational mandate, including:

 

  • Multilateral, international, and philanthropic organizations, including donors, foundations, private sector and businesses.

  • Non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, academic institutions, international organizations and other development partners.

 

Governments including Ministries of Health, Agriculture, Education, and Social Protection, Finance and Planning, Development, Gender, etc. are also invited to make commitments and detailed guidance for Governments on how to make a government-led commitment and how partners can support Governments can be accessed here.

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What is a commitment

A “commitment” is a specific, time-bound policy, financing and/or programmatic pledge made by partners to address a policy gap or to global, regional and/or national policy processes and platforms to drive progress.

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Safety and a supportive environment

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Health and nutrition

education and employment logo

Learning, competence, education, skills, and employability

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Connectedness, positive values, and contribution to society

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Agency and resilience

You are invited to champion adolescent well-being by making bold commitments aligned with your organizational mandate. Commitments should be SMART and aim to deliver concrete and ambitious actions for this population group by addressing the context specific needs of adolescents and young people. Your commitments should aim to bolster your innovative plans to support and complement the implementation efforts of government-led commitments and priorities for adolescent well-being at the national, regional and global-level, and/or build on your organizational mandates.

Commitments should be of the highest quality, including as many as possible of the following attributes:

  • Non-state actors’ pledges can be financial, policy and/or service delivery focused to advance Adolescent Well-Being;

  • Commitments can be made in support of national social development plans, policies and budgets that benefit Adolescent Well-Being;

  • Commitments can be made in support of national campaigns and/or global or regional policy processes and platforms led by Member State-led institutions or initiatives in support of these processes.

  • Commitments can be context-specific, highlighting concrete and measurable results that can be monitored through established institutionalized accountability mechanisms;

  • Commitments should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound; and

  • Commitments should be ‘new’ – i.e., not previously announced – or, at minimum, ‘additional’ to any commitments previously announced.

Type of commitments

Partners are invited to draft written commitments in relation to one or more of the following three areas

Financial

Commitments aimed at mobilizing domestic resources, and/or catalytic donor financing, or supporting key actors in a country to implement plans to improve the health and well-being of adolescents

Policy

Commitments aimed at developing appropriate processes (including legislation, governmental policy-making) and supporting advocacy to ensure adolescent wellbeing;

Programmme
(service and delivery)

Strengthening and expanding programmes to meet the needs of adolescents, enabling improved access to services, knowledge, and skills across the five domains of Adolescent Well-Being, including health, SRHR, social protection, education, labour, etc.

As noted above, commitments should be designed and formulated according to the ‘SMART’ framework:

S

Specific

The commitment refers to a specific action (financial, policy and/or service delivery) and indicates the population group who will benefit from the action.

M

Measurable

The commitment can be monitored through (a set of) an indicator(s) to enable its progress and achievement to be tracked.

A

Achievable

The commitment refers to a realistic context, based on availability of human and financial resources as well as level of progress achieved in the past.

R

Relevant

The commitment reflects a country’s situation, national priorities and the challenges it faces.

T

Time-bound

The commitment’s key milestone is to be met within a realistic timeframe for achievement.

Example of SMART financial commitments for Adolescent Well-Being

Commit to invest USD 1 million annually for Gender-Based Violence research and innovation to boost evidence-based programming by 2026 (example: Government of Kenya, pledged to the Generation Equality Forum)

Examples of SMART policy commitments for Adolescent Well-Being

Government of North Macedonia commits to introduce comprehensive sexuality education in line with the UN guidelines, as a subject of choice, by promoting acceptance of CSE in student of primary school to the maximum extent possible, and by promoting its benefits, through:

  • implementation and further development of the national plan for inclusion of CSE in school curricula,

  • allocation of separate budget line for the development of the national plans for primary education in North Macedonia, including for the CSE as part of the national education program.

Example of SMART programme and service delivery commitments for Adolescent Well-being

Ensure that more than 3.5 million young people, including vulnerable youth, have access to age-appropriate information on sexual & reproductive health and rights (SRHR) through the national curriculum, and capacitating more than 80,000 teachers, both in- and pre-service, on Health and Sexuality Education towards that aim by no later than 2030. (Government of Cambodia, pledged to ICPD +25)

Recommended steps to drafting a SMART commitment

  • Review your current priorities and actions relevant to the well-being of adolescents and young people, review if your existing commitments with other initiatives can be strengthened into SMART commitments for Adolescent Well-Being;

  • Assess your current investments as an organization to meaningfully engage adolescents and young people in the policies, plans and programmes impacting their well-being and assess how you can go beyond “business-as-usual”;

  • Evaluate and identify specific and targeted policy measures across multiple sectors that your organization is working on to tackle gaps and inequities towards achieving adolescent well-being and how can it be improved; and

  • Draft a short statement on how your organization is planning to create an impact for adolescent well-being, and how your bold actions align with, and support, one or more of the five domains of the Adolescent Well-being definition to be amplified during the Global Forum for Adolescents in October 2023.

Where to make a commitment

Commitments made in alignment with the goals of the 1.8 campaign will be published on the Global Forum for Adolescents website.

Commitments can be pledged throughout the year of 2023 in support of the 1.8 Campaign and the Global Forum for Adolescents by leveraging various political decision-making spaces in 2023, including the High-level Political Forum in July 2023; the high-level event at United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2023; and the G20 Summit in September 2023. The Global Forum for Adolescents will be a key moment to celebrate and amplify commitments announced in 2023 and will present the roadmap for implementation of these commitments in the lead up to the Summit of the Future in September 2024 and beyond.

 

In joining this effort, commitment-makers agree that PMNCH will amplify and publicize their commitments in the context of the 1.8 campaign and the Global Forum for Adolescents, and that financial pledges may be aggregated with those of other commitment-makers to demonstrate the scale of action being undertaken, and to encourage others to join.

Should you have any questions or require any support in regard to the commitment process, please contact Thahira Shireen Mustafa, Technical Officer, PMNCH at mustafat@who.int.

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