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Empowering Change:
The O3 Program for Positive Youth
Outcomes in SSA

About the O3 Program

The O3 Program aims to support adolescents and young people in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in achieving positive health, education, and gender equality outcomes. This program strives to contribute to a sustained reduction in new HIV infections, early and unintended pregnancies, gender-based violence, and child marriage.

The O3 Program, builds on the strong foundations of earlier initiatives that ran from 2013 to 2017, then 2018 -2022 and now (in its second Phase) stands as the most extensive programme championing school-based CSE in sub-Saharan Africa.

The O3 Program Game Changers:

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Improving quality

of CSE Delivery


The O3 programme enhances CSE quality through innovative teaching methods, teacher training, and curriculum development. It empowers young people by involving them in curriculum design and harnesses diverse resources like digital technology. With the guidance of an advisory group and monitoring systems, the programme ensures learner feedback and regional CSE monitoring tools for continuous improvement.

Social and gender

norms transformation

The O3 programme addresses the challenge of transforming social and gender norms, specifically targeting children aged 5-12 years. By fostering dialogues on gender, power, and identity, it aims to challenge harmful practices and address gender inequality. Educators and communities are equipped to reform social norms inhibiting educational participation, tackling issues like gender inequality, early pregnancies, child marriages, and female genital mutilation/cutting.


Renewed focus on CSE

for younger learners

The O3 programme places a strong emphasis on fortifying CSE for young learners aged 5-12 years. It equips children with health literacy, prepares them for puberty, promotes gender equality, and nurtures healthy relationships. The programme also highlights the importance of social and emotional learning skills as an integral part of CSE, helping young learners navigate sexual risks and protections.

Supporting youth agency

The O3 programme champions youth agency, inspiring young people to take charge of their lives and communities. This includes their active involvement in education, specifically CSE, through student clubs, digital platforms, and community engagement. By using differentiated approaches for special groups, it ensures inclusivity while promoting online safety through digital health education, empowering youth to responsibly navigate the digital world.


Reaching hard-to-reach young people

The O3 programme is committed to engaging hard-to-reach adolescents and young people, including those with disabilities, those in conflict zones, and those living with HIV. By implementing inclusive policies and programmes, it aims to reduce their vulnerability and bolster their agency. It provides adequate resources and services, ensuring a safe learning environment, fulfilling the principle of leaving no one behind.

Sustainability, accountability, and domestic support for the SRHR agenda

The O3 programme is dedicated to fostering sustainability, accountability, and domestic leadership in SRHR. It works to strengthen advocacy movements and hold leaders accountable for SRHR commitments. It encourages local ownership of the SRHR agenda and aims to increase domestic financing for SRHR. The programme also harnesses local funding sources and provides technical assistance to ensure its sustainability.


Program reach

Programme Acceleration Countries: Eswatini, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe


Focus Countries:

Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, and Uganda


Networking Countries:

Angola, Benin, Burundi, Guinea, Liberia, Mauritius, Sierra Leone, and Togo

UNESCO - O3 Program - CSE Learning Platform

Unlocking Potential:

Download the O3 Program Brochure

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