O3 programme Objective 4

O3 programme Objective

To strengthen evidence base on CSE and safer school environments

With increasing use of ICTs (internet through mobile & static devices, social media, mass-messaging, mobile applications and image sharing platforms) young people are both accessing information about sex and relationships in changing ways, and conducting their relationships and sexual experiences in new ways. The O3 programme takes advantage of the opportunities presented by information and communication technologies to expand and strengthen CSE. Technology can facilitate new ways of teaching and learning and some countries are already implementing internet-based sexuality education courses for educators and learners. An online course on CSE for teacher training developed in Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) and self-training DVDs and radio programmes for teachers developed for West and Central Africa (WCA) greatly increased coverage of teacher training in both regions.

Monitoring and evaluating the delivery of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) is increasingly important for countries to measure their progress and improve the quality of their policies and programmes. In 2012, UNESCO piloted and published a list series of internationally recognized indicators on education sector responses to HIV and which include a number of indicators measuring CSE delivery. Also, in January 2018, through support from UNESCO’s Section for Health and Education, the Technical Coordinating Group for SDG 4 adopted indicator 4.7.2 “Percentage of schools that provided life skills-based HIV and sexuality education within the previous academic year” to monitor progress against Education Thematic target 4.7. Through the O3 programme countries are supported to include the core indicators in their Education Management Information System (EMIS) and build capacity of personnel to collect, analyse and report on the data.

Implementation of CSE must continue to be underpinned by good evidence and science. The evidence base for the effectiveness of school-based CSE continues to grow and strengthen, confirmed by a 2016 evidence review commissioned by UNESCO, building on an earlier one from 2008. These reviews informed the development of the revised CSE Guidance, and show how CSE is contributing positively to young people’s sexual health and to other emerging domains including gender equality or reduction in violence. 

UNESCO commissions research to increase the knowledge base around CSE delivery in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. The research results are targeted at policy makers to promote evidence based policy making which responds to realities on the ground. 

The Young People Today (YPT) website which has been a key resource and knowledge hub will continue to expand to cover the whole Sub-Saharan Africa region and will provide a repository of documentation on CSE.