To help develop a database of health policies for Botswana, the director of the Health Research Unit of the Ministry of
Health drew on the content and design of a new Web site: www.youth-policy.com.
In Haiti, a local nongovernmental organization (NGO) developed policy language on voluntary counseling and testing
(VCT) for youth using www.youth-policy.com — the database of more than 115 youth-related policies and a VCT fact sheet available on the site. The new language helped improve the national VCT policy regarding the needs of youth.
To help create awareness of youth reproductive health (YRH) rights, policy, and programs, and to monitor the implementation
of YRH policy in Africa, the Africa Regional Youth Initiative’s policy group went to the Web site’s database and reviewed
YRH policies from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
Launched in June 2004, www.youth-policy.com reached more than 17,000 users in its first year and now has more than 2,000 visitors each month. What they have found is a unique online resource for youth, policy-makers, NGOs, donors, and technical experts worldwide for improving YRH and HIV/AIDS policy. The site can help users find out what policies exist, develop new YRH policies, identify gaps in existing policies, advocate for the development of a policy, and connect with others working in YRH.
The major resources on the site are organized under three key sections: policy database, making policy, and tools and links (see graphic). Other sections provide visitors with a way to contribute policies, join a network of those interested in
policies, and stay abreast of recent news and ideas about policy and youth through the youth-policy.com newsletter.
Family Health International (FHI)/YouthNet and the POLICY Project developed the Web site with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).