Market Research for Adolescent Health in Nebraska
The Market Research for Adolescent Health Project (AHP) explores the barriers and limitations youth face in accessing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and family planning services in Nebraska. The high prevalence of sexually transmitted disease and unplanned pregnancy among young people in Nebraska calls for innovative solutions to address service provision for this population. In this project, Scope applied human-centered design (HCD) to explore attitudes and practices towards SRH within the barrier ecosystem in the state, with the aim to inform the design of interventions that are culturally and contextually appropriate.
Barriers to healthy sexual development of young people living in Nebraska exist across an ecosystem ranging from individual to policy level. As a result, poor SRH outcomes among young people continue to pose a serious challenge to public health in Nebraska. Historically, interventions attempting to address unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have focused on risk factors such as an individual’s sexual behaviour, peer relationships, or partner communication but haven’t focused on interrelations in the barrier ecosystem.
In partnership with the Women’s Fund of Omaha, Smith and Lehmann Consulting, and Triggerise, and supported by the Sherwood Foundation, the project sought to aid AHP’s efforts in adopting a youth-centred programming approach. Scope conducted research with a view to generate new perspectives and a nuanced understanding of how 15-24-year-old youth in urban and rural locations in Nebraska navigate their life, especially their sexual life and health.
Specifically, the Market Research phase of the project aimed to:
- Map and understand diverse adolescent perspectives on their sexual and reproductive health needs and the services available to meet them
- Identify characteristics of adolescent boys and girls regarding their SRH attitudes, behaviours, and care-seeking preferences
- Identify motivational factors among adolescents in accessing SRH services, including family planning and abortion
- Identify and analyse primary sources of SHR information among adolescents
- Map popular and cultural trends important for this target group (that can be leveraged for programming)
- Identify adolescents’ use of technology in general and specific to SRH information and services
To achieve the project’s aims, Scope developed custom-designed research tools, conducted qualitative field research in rural and urban locations in Nebraska, and carried out rigorous analysis on the qualitative data. In May 2019, Scope shared the research findings and insights, personas and user journeys with partners at a workshop in Omaha. This concluded the Market Research phase.