Despite an increasing focus on adolescent well-being globally, comprehensive data collection systems and research for effective interventions are lacking. Practitioners and policy-makers often ask “how do we know what works?” and “how do we get this evidence?” To assist with generating better evidence for adolescent programming and policy, the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti, Columbia University and members of the Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Well-being in May 2017 released a series of briefs on Conducting Research with Adolescents in Low - and Middle-Income Countries. This webinar provided an overview of the briefs, focusing on what is unique about research with adolescents, best practices for working with them and key knowledge gaps. It also provided an opportunity to discuss the topics with the series editors, including: indicators and data sources, ethics, research with disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, participatory research, social and structural determinants, and adolescent economic strengthening interventions.
Dr. John Santelli, Professor, Population and Family Health, Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health
Dr. Nikola Balvin, Knowledge Management Specialist, Office of Research-Innocenti
The webinar was moderated by Maria Brindlmayer, Senior KM Specialist, YouthPower Learning.
About the Speakers
Dr. John Santelli is a Professor of Population and Family Health and Pediatrics. Dr. Santelli has conducted policy-related research on HIV/STD risk behaviors, trends in teen fertility, programs to prevent STD/HIV/unintended pregnancy, school-based health centers, adolescent preventive services, and research ethics. Dr. Santelli serves a senior consultant for the Guttmacher Institute, a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Adolescent Health, and a member of the Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing; he is a past President of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. He has been a national leader in ensuring that adolescents have access to medically accurate, comprehensive sexuality education, and are appropriately included in health research. He has been the principal investigator of three NICHD-funded projects on HIV risk among youth and linkages between HIV infection and reproductive health with the Rakai Health Sciences Project in southern Uganda. Prior to coming to Columbia in 2004, he worked for 18 years in local and national public health, including the Baltimore City Health Department and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr. Nikola Balvin is a Knowledge Management Specialist at the UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti in Florence, Italy. As part of Innocenti’s research program of the social and structural determinants of adolescent well-being, she leads the development of methodological tools, research syntheses, and capacity-building and research uptake initiatives on adolescent well-being. She has a background in psychology and peace-building and before joining UNICEF held academic positions at the Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (ACPACS), University of Queensland and the International Conflict Resolution Centre, University of Melbourne in Australia. Dr. Balvin completed her Doctor of Psychology at the University of Melbourne in 2007, examining prejudice and stereotyping towards Australia’s Indigenous peoples.
Additional links shared during the webinare, were: