CARE supports adolescents’ right to access quality sexuality and reproductive health information and services so they can make informed choices, live healthy and productive lives, and pursue their aspirations.
ASRH Brief | CARE's Adolescent Capacity Statement

Did You Know? .
There are over 1.8 billion young people in the world today between ages 10-24, 90% of whom live in less developed countries [1]. The majority of these young people do not have access to the information and services they need to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health (SRH) [2]. 16 million girls (15-19) become mothers every year and for these girls, childbirth related complications are a leading cause of death [3]. 2.5 million (14%) of all unsafe abortions in developing countries are among women under the age of 20 who are more seriously affected by post abortion complications than are older women [4]. Every day, around 2,500 young people become newly infected with HIV, accounting for 41% of new infections [5]. An estimated 33 million sexually active young women (15-24) would use contraceptives if they had access to them to prevent unplanned pregnancies [6].

CARE’s Approach

"Through comprehensive, integrated and rights-based programming, CARE empowers adolescents with the information and skills they need to make their own choices about their sexual and reproductive health."
Strengthening Women’s and Girls’ Voice
  • CARE projects are designed to address existing gender and power imbalances, as well as equip girls and boys with the skills they need to lead productive and healthy lives.
  • One approach CARE uses to address inequitable norms is Social Analysis and Action (SAA)[7], a process for stimulating reflection and dialogue with communities on gender and social norms and how they may facilitate or inhibit healthy SRH behaviors and outcomes. SAA supports communities in creating their own solutions for challenging rigid gender roles.

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  • CARE believes that creating inclusive spaces for meaningful adolescent participation and adolescent-led change is key to ensuring that health systems are more responsive and accountable to their reproductive health needs and priorities.
  • CARE uses its Community Score Card (CSC)[8], a citizen-driven accountability approach that brings together community members, service providers, and the local government to identify service utilization and provision challenges; mutally generate solutions; and work in on-going partnership to implement and track the effectiveness of solution identified. This gives adolescents a forum to voice their concerns and define the issues they encounter in accessing high-quality health services in their communities, including policy barriers.

Increasing Resilience and Reducing Risk
  • CARE works to strengthen the health system to ensure that adolescents have access to quality, rights-based SRH information and services that are responsive and acceptable in both humanitarian and development settings.
  • CARE works to ensure health workers have the appropriate counseling and technical skills and facilities are properly equipped to address adolescents’ unique needs; and that services are delivered in a respectful manner, where privacy and confidentiality are upheld.
  • At the individual level, CARE builds adolescent girls’ and boys’ resilience by strengthening their knowledge and their capabilities, this includes working within the education and health systems or relevant youth spheres to provide comprehensive sexuality information.

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This film, produced by UNC-Chapel Hill journalism students, tells the story of two sisters in Malawi. Chisomo is a teen mother who had to drop out of school. Her sister Bertha is an active member of a local youth group that was activated as a result of CARE’s Community Score Card process. Bertha now has access to the reproductive health information she needs to make informed decisions and achieve her goal of staying in school. Please click on the video to view.

Resources on CARE's Adolescent Programs

Carolyn Grant
Technical Advisor
Sexual, Reproductive and Maternal Health


[1] UNFPA, “State of the World Population,” 2014.
[2] UNFPA, “State of the World Population,” 2014.
[3] WHO, “Adolescent Pregnancy Fact Sheet,” 2014, WHO, “Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health: Adolescent
pregnancy,” 2015,
[4] WHO, Adolescent Pregnancy Fact Sheet, 2014. WHO, “Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health: Adolescent pregnancy,” 2015.
[5] UNICEF,“Opportunity in Crisis: Preventing HIV from early adolescence to young adulthood,” 2011.
[6] Data from countries where DHS data includes information about contraceptive use. MacQuarrie, K. “Unmet Need for Family Planning among Young Women: Levels and Trends.”
DHS Comparative Reports, 2014.
[7] CARE. Social Analysis and Action, Toolkit, Manual,
[8] CARE, “Community Score Card,” 2002,