The Accountability Advocates project in the UK, or Team UK as we call ourselves, is in coalition with other youth advocates from Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Ghana, and Uganda. The project is founded by Restless Development.

We are working on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in the UK, showing how young people have the power to hold the UK government accountable for the promises made with the adoption of the SDGs in September 2015. Our intention is to collect data, both primary and secondary, to monitor and review government action on the SDGs in our respective countries.

Accountability Advocates and the Sustainable Development Goals

As Team UK, we have chosen to focus on SDG targets and indicators which address issues of sexual and reproductive health (with a focus on comprehensive education), FGM, and gender-based violence in the UK.

We have collected data which we are using to hold the UK Government to account for their promise of achieving SDG Target 3.7 (‘By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes’). So that Target 3.7 can be achieved, there must be good quality education on the subject of Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR), which would also have positive knock on effects on Goal 5 Targets that measure violence against women and harmful practices such as FGM and forced marriage.

We wanted to know what the status of Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services to young people is, and specifically what sexual and reproductive education (SRE) young people were receiving from across the UK. SRE is a vital education programme that impacts a variety of issues, such as rates of STI transmission, rates of pregnancy, awareness of FGM, LGBT rights and tolerance, and incidence of sexual violence.

It is for this reason that we have conducted a survey to gather evidence on satisfaction rates of SRE in the UK. By creating an online survey that was promoted and shared on social media, we have bridged a gap between young people and government data collection. We were successful in receiving 303 responses, which proves the effectiveness of youth-led accountability and young people generating data on themselves for monitoring the SDGs. By generating our own data with the survey, which we have made open and accessible, young people have a bigger role to play in monitoring and accountability of the government decisions in their lives. The survey asks respondents about their satisfaction with their experience of SRE, what general topics they were taught, and what topics should be included in sex education.

To find out more please contact Raf Galdeano

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