Assessing the Vulnerability and Risks of Adolescent Girls and Young Women in ESA

A review of the tools in use


Adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in the Eastern and Southern Africa Region (ESAR) face serious challenges to fulfilling their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), including vulnerability to HIV, sexually transmitted infections, unintended and unsafe pregnancy. The adolescent birth rate in ESAR is twice the global rate, at 92 births per 1,000 girls, and in 2019 estimates for ESAR indicate that adolescent girls account for 83 per cent of new HIV infections among 10-19 year olds.

While there are domestic and external resources available to support adolescent health, there is a need to increase and make more effective use of that funding. Tools are needed to help programmers customize and target their approaches, responsive to the different groups of AGYW, and the factors that make them vulnerable and exacerbate their risks.

Several organizations have developed tools to help target HIV and SRHR programme approaches for AGYW however, this is an emerging area of work. This review aims to strengthen risk-informed programming. It provides a mapping of tools in use, an analysis of their common themes, summarising their use and application, and provides proposed actions to guide further standardization and direction for use in programmes, at scale.

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