Scoping Study for Regional Research Hubs on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health in the Middle East and North Africa and West Africa

The aim of this scoping study is to conduct a thorough review and analysis of appropriate models for research hubs – often referred to as centres of research excellence – on adolescent sexual and reproductive health in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and in West Africa. The largest cohort of youth in history is entering their reproductive age; however many do not obtain the information needed to acquire the knowledge and develop the skills to exercise their rights or to access the services required to protect themselves from harmful situations and their consequences. This situation is acute in several regions, including in the MENA and West Africa. In both regions, adolescents, particularly girls, face high risks of early marriage, sexual and gender based violence and transactional sex. Gender inequalities, and negative social norms and practices can compound risks related to sexual and reproductive health. There is a pressing need for robust, ethical, and participatory research on adolescent sexual and reproductive health behaviours, information and services. Exploring suitable models and approaches to support sustained regional research efforts and build research leaders can help address these knowledge gaps with context-specific and rigorous evidence. Outputs from the project include a final report to IDRC summarizing the analysis and presenting recommendations on institutions and institutional arrangements, a presentation of the results at a relevant regional or international conference, and an open access peer-reviewed publication.

Project ID


Project status



12 months

Total funding

CA$ 102,200


Middle East, South of Sahara


Maternal and Child Health

Project Leader

Rema Afifi


University of Iowa

Institution Country

United States

Institution Website