What ABCD means to us!

In January we were quiet on the blog. One of the reasons for this is that it has been a month of powerful thinking and consulting other thinkers. Strangely enough we spent last January (2017) in deep thought too! Maybe it’s our take on winter hibernation and next year we will plan it rather than just letting it happen!

Last year, we looked at what the big players were thinking and writing about adolescent health and how it related to our focus on empowering young adolescents (10-14) to make improvements in their own and others’ health. Here are two pieces we wrote about this:

  1. Every Woman Every Child | The Global Strategy for Woman’s, Children’s and Adolescent’s Health 2016-2020
  2. The Global AA-Ha!

During 2017 and into January ’18, we have had people asking about how we assess what to do in a health education programme to make it stronger and ensure that the strategy is empowering adolescents and positively impacting their health.

Adolescent Well Being

We sense that that there is a new appetite to understand the principles of adolescent empowerment and to understand how to ‘do’ empowerment AND make an impact. This is could be generated by this broader interest in adolescent health that we identified last year.

In January, we went back to our training toolkit and had several meetings with a range of experts who are also working to develop and design impactful field and research work.

We consulted Sarah Newton, a leading expert in adolescent behaviour who works in the UK. We looked with her at this model that she has devised to help her INTERROGATE Adolescent Behaviour Change and Development.

We are adapting this and calling it our ABCD Framework, and we are developing an approach, some questions and some methods for programmes use to find out from adolescents themselves how best to design interventions.

We will soon be working closely on this with Peek Vision who have done some fantastic work in Botswana (among other countries). They conduct school screening using the Peek Acuity vision check app to screen children for vision problems at school. Information on children requiring further examination is automatically sent to a local eye care professional who can provide treatment (e.g. glasses, eye drops) or refer them on for specialist care. Update 2020, our Eye Health book and poster are available now!

They are interested in involving us to ensure that those children who need to wear spectacles feel confident and happy to do so.

We love the way that this new framework is being adapted to solve a specific and important problem.

It is likely that the framework will be useful in solving any problem that involves adolescent behaviour.