Digital health interventions with and for youth

Today’s adolescents are living their lives seamlessly on and offline, with information and education no longer the soul domain of the classroom, but digital platforms. A 2019 survey by UNESCO and Restless Development of more than 3,000 young people aged 15 – 24, found that social media, chatbots, vlogs and apps are the second most popular source of information about bodies, sex and relationships; outnumbered only by ‘friends and peers’.

To improve the digital health services used by adolescents and youth, WHO, UNESCO, UNFPA and UNICEF, have released Youth-centered digital health interventions: A framework for planning, developing and implementing solutions with and for young people. It is aimed to help designers, developers, implementers, researchers, and funders seeking to create, implement and sustain thoughtful and effective digital health interventions for young people.

Chief of Education and Health at UNESCO, Christopher Castle, said the need for such a framework is critical and timely. “Digital media and broadband technologies offer outstanding new possibilities for education and service delivery. This is perhaps more important than ever in the context of COVID-19, with digital interventions increasingly being considered as an alternative to face-to-face interventions. With widespread school closures, online teaching and learning has been used on an unprecedented scale in 2020.”

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