Provide: Strengthening youth-friendly services

Provide: strengthening youth friendly services

describes the key characteristics of effective, youth-friendly services

emphasises the need to address sexuality in youth-friendly services

challenges assumptions about the sexual behaviour of young people

promotes a rights-based approach to youth services

asks vital questions to inform the setting up of a youth service

"Youth-friendly service delivery is based on an understanding of, and respect for, the realities of young people’s diverse sexual and reproductive lives. It is about creating a service which young people trust and feel is there for them and their needs. Quality includes respecting confidentiality, giving choices, and raising awareness on rights. It goes beyond the service delivery setting to include community acceptance of adolescent sexual and reproductive health."

Self-assessment can help to improve the quality of services, ensure that they are youth-friendly and that they:

  • integrate work on sexuality and rights into services
  • identify and reach under-served populations
  • provide what young people want
  • are accessible, addressing practical issues about location of services, opening hours, and cost; but also reassuring about gender-sensitivity, non-discrimination, and respect
  • respect confidentiality, giving choices and raising awareness on rights
  • link their services to educational activities and the wider development of young people
  • ensure community, family and school support
  • provide effective referral systems to other services


  • a list of youth-friendly characteristics that are essential for effective services
  • a list of 'situations that encourage us (to use services) and situations that put us off', written by young people.
  • a list of useful questions to use when working with communities
  • a list of top tips for those facilitating the self-assessment
  • a comprehensive self-assessment tool on standards that should be expected for clients and instructions on how to use it
  • a comprehensive self-assessment tool on the needs of providers in youth-friendly services and instructions on how to use it
  • a sample log frame for implementing a work plan
  • useful resources including: the evidence-base for youth-friendly services; IPPF service-related policies on meeting the needs of young people
  • two client exit interview forms