Part 3: Challenges and Strategies for Implementation
By working through each of the Essential Elements, you have been able to focus on some of the most essential and effective strategies for designing an SBCC program specifically targeted at improving the SRH of urban adolescents. It is in this design process that many of the unique challenges and opportunities of working with urban adolescents are important to address. Now you may be asking, “What next?”
Once you have explored all of the Essential Elements, it is time to put your design into action. The first step is to create an implementation plan, which details the “who,” “what,” “when,” “where” and “how much” of your SBCC program. The plan covers partner roles and responsibilities, activities, timeline, budget and management considerations. The implementation plan should include input and commitments from team members who helped with program research and design, and who will help implement moving forward.
In SBCC programs, an important consideration for your implementation plan is making sure that your key message points are integrated into your selected channels in a way that will ensure you reach urban adolescents and other intended audiences at the right time.
Key questions to consider include:
- What are the activities that need to be planned and implemented?
- Which stakeholders’ involvement do you need to implement?
- Where will you implement them?
- What are the intermediate steps necessary for each activity?
- What is the necessary sequence of activities? How are they linked?
- When will each activity be implemented? Will staff, resources and intended audiences all be available then?
- How will you measure project performance against your behavioral indicators and program goal? At what stages of the project?
- Who will be responsible for activity design? Funding? Rollout? Monitoring?
- Does everyone know their roles?
- What if something goes wrong? Are you allowing room for delays in funding, implementation, approvals, etc.? Make your implementation plan SMART, too!
Implementing SRH SBCC programs for urban adolescents can be challenging. Here are some common challenges that you might face and suggested strategies for dealing with them.
If your efforts are tied to service delivery or training, be sure to consider this in your timeline. For example, demand creation activities for SRH services may need to wait until the capacity of service providers to provide youth-friendly counseling is strengthened.
Resistance from parents/adults to your SRH SBCC program with urban adolescents.
Particularly vulnerable youth can be very hard to reach.
Teachers often do not have the time or the interest in delivering your program.
Young people, particularly in urban environments, are very mobile.
It can be difficult to get young people to trust you.
Transportation can be a barrier.
Urban youth peer educators can be difficult to manage.
Motivating peer educators or IPC facilitators can be challenging.
Funds are limited and evaluation is too expensive to conduct.
Program staff are not trained in M&E.
Inaccuracies of self-reported data among youth.
Lack of sustainability of your program.
Taboos linked to parent-child communication around SRH.
Difficulties in finding leisure activities that attract out-of-school youth.