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George et al.: Adolescent health in the Sustainable Development Goal era: are we aligned for multisectoral action?

by Asha George, Tanya Jacobs, Rajani Ved, Troy Jacobs, Kumanan Rasanathan, Shehla Abbas Zaidi

Adolescents are an increasing proportion of low and middle-income country populations. Their coming of age is foundational for health behaviour, as well as social and productive citizenship. We mapped intervention areas for adolescent sexual and reproductive health, including HIV, mental health and violence prevention to sectors responsible for them using a framework that highlights settings, roles and alignment. Out of 11 intervention areas, health is the lead actor for one, and a possible lead actor for two other interventions depending on the implementation context. All other interventions take place outside of the health sector, with the health sector playing a range of bilateral, trilateral supporting roles or in several cases a minimal role. Alignment across the sectors varies from indivisible, enabling or reinforcing to the other extreme of constraining and counterproductive. Governance approaches are critical for brokering these varied relationships and interactions in multisectoral action for adolescent health, to understand the context of such change and to spark, sustain and steer it.

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