Mapping leading-edge youth engagement for health and SDGs

Stakeholder Insights

  • Mapped 60+ leading-edge organizations across whole sector
  • Conducted 40+ interviews with key actors globally
  • Researched innovative approaches by stakeholders
  • Mapped the WHO youth projects and initiatives
  • Reviewed invested human and financial resources
  • Scanned social media for content and influencers


We were commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO) to help the organization transform its engagement with young people. To envision possible strategic opportunities for collective action, we developed a Smart Map of over 60 organizations across diverse public and private stakeholders working in transformative ways with young people around the world. With more than half of the planet under 30, it is clear that we cannot achieve the Sustainable Development Goals without working with a broad range of partners in the global health ecosystem, together with young people.

The selection of organizations was based on how innovative their approaches were in working with young people, potential to contribute to new or complementary knowledge, skills or resources, geography, topics or interventions identified as critical needs, and partnership potential with the WHO to deliver impact at scale. Numerous consultations were conducted with youth-led organizations, the WHO’s member countries, civil society organizations, academic experts and businesses. It included an extensive review of engagements around the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health, the Global Accelerated Action for the Health of Adolescents (AA-HA!) report and the Every Women Every Child movement.  Semi-structured interviews were conducted with over 40 key actors using purposive sampling based on their association, interest and influence with the engagement of young people; and the review of their internal documents as well as publicly available information including their engagements on social media.


Information gathered through the Smart Map process is proprietary and was used for the development of the WHO’s report Engaging Young People for Health and Sustainable Development. Further information can be shared upon request.
It will be necessary for the WHO and the United Nations to embrace new forms of partnerships forged across sectors and with young people - who should be involved at every level and often take the lead.
Barbara Bulc and Rohit Ramchandani, Co-authors of the report