Transforming the Policy Environment for Accelerating Access to SRHR by Adolescents and Young People within an SDG Framework, in Southern Africa



SAfAIDS ‘Transforming Lives’ programme is working to build a policy environment that ensures sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and rights for ALL. The programme is built on four strategic pillars: policy development; policy advocacy; social accountability monitoring (SAM) of SRH; and regional evidence and knowledge sharing.

SAfAIDS supports SADC policy makers to strengthen the policy environment; develop response guidelines on sexual gender-based violence (SGBV) and advocate for the prevention of unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions among sexually active adolescents, as well as sharing progress and highlighting issues for address on the regional sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) agenda.

Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) The Transforming Lives programme contributes directly to SDG 3 on good health and wellbeing and SDG 5 on gender equality, as well as making linkages to targets under SDGs 10 and 16. It also contributes to specific targets towards achieving SDGs 1, 3, 4 and 10.


The programme addresses:

  • Sexual gender-based violence, contributing to SGD target indicators 4.7.1, 5.2.1 & 5.2.2;
  • Adolescent pregnancy and unsafe abortion with links to maternal mortality, contributing to SDG Indicators 3.7.2 and 5.3.1; and
  • Access to youth friendly SRH information and services, contributing to SDG indicators 5.6.2 and 10.2.1.


Transforming Lives – The Change We Want To See A more conducive policy environment that enables positive sexual and reproductive health (SRH) outcomes and realisation of SRH and rights (SRHR) among adolescents and young women in the SADC region.

We believe that policy change will improve the SRH outcomes of adolescents and young people in line with the SDGs (goals 3 and 5), the Maputo Plan of Action (MPoA, 2016–2020), the 90–90–90 agenda and the East & Southern Africa (ESA) Ministerial Commitment on Comprehensive Sexuality Education and SRH for young people.

A Three-Pronged Approach

  • Catalyse, stimulate or seed regional advocacy movements to generate multi-point pressure for change;
  • Transform the beliefs, opinions and attitudes of leaders and policy and decision-makers;
  • Facilitate policy development and reform through regional and national consultative meetings, advocacy and learning events, increased visibility and voice.

Our Programme Strategies

Engaging in policy development; policy advocacy and regional movement building; capacity strengthening in social accountability monitoring of SRHR and knowledge exchange and learning in three thematic areas:

  • Sexual gender-based violence;
  • Adolescent pregnancy and unsafe abortion; and
  • Social accountability monitoring of SRHR for young people.


Advocacy and Regional Movement Building

Launch and lead a Regional Campaign towards reducing sexual gender-based violence, adolescent pregnancy and unsafe abortions among sexually active adolescents across the region.

Capacity Strengthening in Social Accountability Monitoring of SRH for Young People

Support social accountability monitoring of SRH for young people through capacity strengthening and the development of SAM tools to gather data for use in advocacy.

Ensure operationalisation of standard operating procedures at service delivery level through monitored citizen-led actions that advocate, lobby with and influence governments and Regional Economic Councils, while monitoring performance and resource management for flexible and effective advocacy pathways.


Knowledge Exchange and Learning for Development

Collectively build and strategically share a regional body of evidence on what works (and what does not) in SAM of youth SRH, documenting best practices and case studies.

Utilise platforms such as ICASA, IAC, WHO the World Health Assembly and AU regional meetings to disseminate evidence-based knowledge: models, case studies and videos to civil society organisations, ministries, policy makers, donors and regional youth networks towards developing regional policy advocacy debate and networking.