IAWG members are addressing sexual and reproductive rights during COVID-19 humanitarian response. Read More>>

Chapter 3: Meaningful Participation

The initial and essential stop in the Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) Toolkit roadmap is the Meaningful Participation chapter. This chapter includes guidance on how to meaningfully engage adolescents and their communities in the design, implementation, and evaluation of ASRH programming in humanitarian settings. As identified in the Inter-Agency Field Manual on Reproductive Health in Humanitarian Settings (IAFM), creating an enabling environment for youth leadership and meaningful participation of adolescents is a rights-based approach and provides avenues for meaningful and inclusive representation among diverse groups of adolescents in humanitarian settings. It is also important to recognize that adolescents are influenced by individuals, adults, their community, and societal factors; thus, ensuring participation of adults and the broader community is important in creating an enabling environment for adolescents, garnering wide support and commitment from adults for ASRH programs, and easing some of the barriers to accessing services.

Learning Objective

After reading this chapter, readers should be able to:

  • Describe what “meaningful participation” of adolescents is and the different levels of adolescent engagement
  • Explain why the involvement of community members in humanitarian programming is necessary
  • Recognize adolescents’ capacities and identify opportunities and approaches to meaningfully engage adolescents throughout the humanitarian program cycle
  • Describe how to involve adolescents in ASRH humanitarian programming


Please note, links to other chapters within the toolkit will not work in Chapter PDFs. Instead, download the full PDF.


Sexual and reproductive health services remain critical during COVID-19

IAWG members and partners are producing clinical and programmatic guidance, assessments, policy papers, and statements to ensure continued prioritization of sexual and reproductive health and rights throughout COVID-19 response in humanitarian settings.