Generating valuable research and evidence

AstraZeneca’s Young Health Programme combines research and evidence generation with on the ground programmes and advocacy.

If adolescent health and NCD prevention are to be prioritised and adolescent services improved, then a credible and relevant evidence base is essential.

Unfortunately, there continues to be a shortage of research and analysis on adolescents as a diverse group. There is also a lack of up-to-date relevant data, especially for low and middle income countries, on the prevalence of NCD risk behaviours among young people.

That is why we have made research and evidence generation a key part of the Young Health Programme (YHP).

YHP-supported global research and evidence is increasingly being recognised among policymakers and influencers as providing a unique understanding of the health priorities of youth.

Our approach

The YHP supports people working in adolescent health and NCD prevention by partnering to identify and address research gaps and priorities.

Evidence from local YHP programmes also provides strategic insights on how to implement effective youth engagement on the ground. By combining formal and informal evidence generation and working with other expert organisations, the YHP ensures a holistic and integrated approach to understanding the key health issues impacting adolescents. This research provides evidence to identify the government interventions required to respond to the rising prevalence of NCD risk behaviours among young people.

What research has been done to date?

Providing insights to the critical priorities of youth health

The WAVE study (Wellbeing of Adolescents in Vulnerable Environments) was led by YHP founding partner, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. WAVE was a five city global study focused on very disadvantaged, urban adolescents and their health. Through WAVE, we learned that no matter where they are in the world, health behaviours of young people from the most disadvantaged communities are determined by the environment in which they live.

Bridging the information gap on NCD risk behaviours in young people in Africa and Asia, and the MENA Region.

The YHP supported the Population Reference Bureau (PRB) to produce three reports on NCD risk behaviours among young people in Africa, Asia and the Middle East North Africa Region. The reports demonstrated that NCD risk factors were dangerously high in many countries and trends suggest this will only worsen over the coming years. The research is accompanied by in-depth data sheets and a policy brief outlining potential implications and promising policy and programme interventions.

Modeling the past to determine future trends in premature mortality

The YHP is supporting Imperial College London to undertake a two year research analysis to explore the impact on premature mortality if we reduce NCD risk factors in adolescents. Data on the prevalence of NCD risk behaviours in adolescents from around the world over ten years will be identified and gathered, and this information will be used to predict future trends. The model will then test different scenarios including time of exposure to risk behaviours, to assess the potential benefits of starting prevention at the early stages of life. 

Integrating NCD prevention with Sexual and Reproductive Health and Maternal and Child Health services that target young people

Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) and Maternal and Child Health (MCH) services are at times the primary point of interaction between young people and the health sector, and offer an opportunity to provide critical NCD services. Increasingly, experts are recommending integrated services however, there are currently no reviews of the existing literature on the topic. YHP is supporting the PRB to research opportunities that will help fill that gap and provide policy and programme recommendations.

Explore our other sections

  • Programmes

    Working on-the-ground to tailor prevention programmes to community needs

  • Advocacy

    Working globally and locally to put adolescent health on the policy agenda

  • About

    Find out about YHP and why the programme came about